Locals invited to monitor the health of our waterways
Healthy rivers benefit everyone, and keeping an eye on our waterways is a job the entire community can be involved in.
Last year, community volunteers with North Central Catchment Management Authority’s (CMA) RiverScan project measured the health of key waterways in the region’s north – Little Murray River, Loddon River, Gunbower Creek and Box-Pyramid Creek.
“The monitoring snapshot highlighted that these waterways were in poor health, with all but one recording a unanimous ‘severely impacted’ rating,” North Central CMA Project Manager Nicole Bullen said.
“The data was used as a starting point to measure the impact of our Native Fish Recovery Plan, a plan to rehabilitate our waterways and their native fish populations.
"We know that a program like this will make a big difference to the amount and abundance of native fish in those rivers and creeks.
“The plan is to measure the health of these waterways every year, and we need the community’s help to do it this year.”
RiverScan gives community members the opportunity to become citizen scientists and track the response of waterbugs to water-quality actions such as water for the environment, resnagging and river-side vegetation rehabilitation.
“Last year we got a great response from the community, and we are putting out the call again for this year’s monitoring,” Ms Bullen said.
“We will hold a daytime workshop at Kerang on February 23 to give people the skills and information they need.
“We will also be holding an evening presentation on February 22 where you can learn about the wonderful world of waterbugs, and hear from keynote speaker and waterbug expert John Gooderham.”
Bendigo TAFE student Kelly Button was one of the volunteers who took part last year.
“Taking part in the workshops for this project, and knowing the data we were collecting would go towards research in a significant project, was rewarding and drove mine, and other participants’ interest,” she said.
For all the details about both events, go to www.nccma.vic.gov.au and click on the Events page.
These events are part of the Victorian Government’s $222 million Water for the Victoria investment to improve catchment and waterway health.