Citizen scientists take on Waterwatch program in Port Stephens

Roz Armstrong collecting water samples at Mambo Wanda Wetlands for the Waterwatch program.

 

COMMUNITY groups, landholders, and schools across NSW are involved in Waterwatch.

It’s all about citizens taking on a role as scientists in the Waterwatch program in Port Stephens.

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The program engages communities in monitoring and protecting the health of local waterways.

Roz Armstrong is one local that gets her hands dirty as she collects data for the program which monitors the health of areas like the Mambo Wanda Wetlands.

Smaller waterways make up three-quarters of the total waterway network within any given catchment and they are of great interest to local communities.

Roz’s active role includes collecting samples and testing the water.

Having been involved in Landcare Roz saw a need for volunteers to be a part of Waterwatch.

She undertakes monthly testing of water quality and alongside other volunteers who perform similar tasks she helps to create a data bank which shows the health of the environment.

Waterwatch also conducts seasonal surveys of aquatic macroinvertebrates, to understand and monitor the health of rivers.

Roz Armstrong told News Of The Area, “I conduct seven tests including taking the water temperature.”

She, like other Waterwatch volunteers, upload the data which can be used to identify water quality issues including pollutants and erosion, creating a better understanding of what is happening in the waterway.

Roz is following in the footsteps of the Bridgeman’s who previously collected samples for over five years.

Through Waterwatch we can learn to understand the impacts on the catchment and where necessary solutions can be identified.

Waterwatch volunteers are working with Land Services NSW and take action to help fix the problems such as planting trees to help stop erosion.

You can get involved in Waterwatch and become a citizen science participant by visiting www.nswwaterwatch.org.au.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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