For many of us, the River Murray is the blood in our veins.
It is the heart of our regional communities from Goolwa and the Lower Lakes to Murray Bridge and Mannum, from Morgan to Waikerie, Berri to Renmark and every place in between.
We have worked hard on land that suffered during drought, growing oranges, grapes, vegetables and other crops, and raising livestock.
We have fished and farmed and taught others to love the river and its plants and animals as much as we do.
We have caught yabbies and splashed our feet, seen waterbirds come and go in the Coorong, canoed through the backwaters and spent weekends at the shack, relaxing with friends and family.
When the river hurts, we share its pain.
We have fought to keep it healthy against odds that have sometimes felt insurmountable. Though we have won many battles, the fight for the Murray is not over.
There is still more work to be done to return the river to health after the damage done by the millennium drought. There are big projects to complete, building regulators and fishways and carrying out environmental watering and vital revegetation work. There is the South East Flows project, working to return water to the Coorong and the River Murray Water Allocation Plan that will ensure the future of our irrigators.
The river, its wetlands and floodplains are special places, both to us and to the environment. Some of these, like the Coorong, are recognised and loved by the rest of the world. Others are our secret places, our favourite spots to watch the sun sink behind the river red gums, to catch a fish or paddle quietly down the river and enjoy the view.
With so much to love and so much to do, why not get involved? Get together with other members of the community for planting days, monitoring projects or clean-ups, or work on your own land, fencing waterways, revegetating land and encouraging native species.
The Murray needs us as much as we need it.