A FUNDRASING campaign is being launched to help a project to improve Essex's rivers.

Only six out of 91 stretches of river in Essex were classified as being in good ecological quality in 2023, with the remainder graded as moderate or poor.

Essex's river systems are heavily affected by pollution and litter and have lost much of their natural habitats due to human interference for drainage and navigation purposes.

A 2023 survey by Essex County Council revealed that river pollution was the top environmental concern for residents.

In response to these issues, the Essex Rivers Hub partnership, hosted by the Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust (ESRT), has declared its intent to help preserve the rivers in Essex.

To this end, they're initiating a new campaign to fund the Essex RiverWatch project, aimed at involving communities in monitoring the health of their nearby rivers.

To garner long-term support, the ESRT is joining forces with the Big Give Green Match Fund campaign.

From April 18 to midday on April 25, ESRT and partners are rallying to raise £10,000 for the project.

Donations made during this period will be matched, effectively doubling the impact of contributions.

Dr. Helen Dangerfield, director at the ESRT, stressed the importance of this initiative, stating that the fundraising campaign will help promote citizen science across the rivers in Essex.

When the Essex RiverWatch officially launches later this year, volunteers will receive training and equipment.

Darren Tansley, wilder rivers and protected species manager at Essex Wildlife Trust, explained the project’s goals were equipping local groups with the skills necessary to collect more data about our rivers.

For those interested in getting involved, visit BigGive.org from April 18, 2024, to make a donation.

You can also learn more about the Essex RiverWatch campaign by visiting www.essexsuffolkriverstrust.org/biggive.

The campaign will wrap up at midday on April 25, 2024.

This project is a chance for residents to contribute to the recovery and conservation of Essex's rivers.

Their support will help restore the health of our rivers for both wildlife and people.