The EstuaryWatchers at the “thank you” event.

Dedicated Bellarine volunteers acknowledged during thank you event

June 5, 2019 BY

THE Corangamite CMA has said “thank you” to environmental volunteers who work with them in Citizen Science programs across the region.

More than 25 volunteers from the Bellarine, Colac and district, Surf Coast, Gellibrand, Curdies, Derrinallum and Meredith and district attended the event, which helped celebrate National Volunteer Week.

Citizen Science programs consist of a group of dedicated volunteers who contribute their time and energy to important water monitoring programs across the region.

These programs include Waterwatch, EstuaryWatch, Western District Lakes Photopoint monitoring and the Barwon Estuary Monitoring Pilot Program.

Citizen Scientist Jane Morrow said she had really enjoyed being involved with EstuaryWatch.

“It’s great fun and terrific knowing our work, in a small way, is helping to keep our waterways in good condition,” Ms Morrow said.

A morning tea was followed by a ‘source to sea’ tour of the catchment where participants went on a bus tour to Inverleigh for hands on environmental activities including waterbug surveys and water quality testing.

Guest presenter David Collins, Environment and Sustainability Team Leader at Golden Plains Shire, spoke about the Shire’s interest in healthy waterways and the importance of water monitoring.

As well as examining life in the water, volunteers were excited to learn about life above the water level, including birds, river redgums and moths.

Kristen Lees, Regional Citizen Science Project Officer at the Corangamite CMA, also spoke to the volunteers about the CMA’s work with the Wadawurrung assessing cultural values along the Barwon River.

This year National Volunteer Week coincided with Saltwatch week, and volunteers were invited to bring along dam, bore and creek water for salinity testing.

Data collected from the Barwon River gave participants a better understanding of where salt comes from and the impact on waterway health.

This data has been added to a Statewide database providing an annual snapshot of Victoria’s salinity for the last 30 years.

Best of all, this event enabled land and waterway management agencies and environmental volunteers to share information and further develop their positive relationship.

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