The Lane Cove River is the closest major waterway to my place. Over several trips, I have run and kayaked from the source to its mouth, where it joins the Parramatta River/Sydney Harbour.
The Lane Cove River has many beautiful spots. It is divided in two by a weir in the Lane Cove National Park. Above the weir is fresh, below is tidal and briny.
Fifty years ago, it was a much healthier river, which had beautiful swimming spots and even an amusement park called Fairyland above the weir.
As well as the beautiful spots, there is a lot of pollution, especially above the weir. Anything in the water above the weir like sticks, trunks or rubbish gets coated with a layer of brown algae.
There is a multi-council initiative to make the Parramatta River swimmable again by 2025. As someone who sails on the Parramatta River, I love this.
Unfortunately, the Lane Cover River does not have as much support, but there are some groups which are working hard to improve it. Ones I have found so far are:
- Lane Cove Rivercare – kayakers who meet every 2 months to remove garbage from the river. I joined in early August and we removed piles of rubbish, especially towards the weir.
- Stringybark Creek Streamwatch – volunteers who do sampling on a creek that is a tributary of the river.
- Sydney Water faults ([email protected]) – if you smell or spot any leaking sewer pipes or hatches, you can report the location (GPS/Google maps) and they will send a crew out to repair it. I’ve reported in one spot that is always smelly on the edge of the river, and you can see traces of overflow near the hatch. A crew has gone out to fix it quite quickly – I’m impressed!