Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is inviting members of the community to play an active role in environmental protection by monitoring water quality at Waterhole Creek in Morwell.
As part of its ‘Caring for Waterhole Creek’ campaign, EPA is looking for volunteer citizen scientists to assist with investigating sources of water pollution at the creek.
Those interested in taking part are encouraged to attend an information session on Saturday, 18 February 2017, where they can register as a citizen scientist, get an overview of the campaign and receive training and equipment to carry out the monitoring.
“Citizen Scientists can make a real difference to their local environment and the Latrobe Valley community has great expertise and knowledge on the state of their local environment,” EPA Citizen Science Coordinator, David Mossop said.
“EPA relies on their local knowledge to identify and help prevent water pollution,” Mr Mossop said.
“The ‘Caring for Waterhole Creek’ campaign aims to increase EPA and community’s understanding of waterway health and track the potential impacts from surrounding land use,” he said.
“The campaign will consist of citizen scientists monitoring water quality on a fortnightly basis at a number of pre-determined sites along Waterhole Creek over an eight-month period.”
“Volunteers will be testing the water for a range of things including pH, phosphorous and conductivity. There will also be testing for other substances such heavy metals and pesticides, plus macro invertebrate sampling.
“The campaign will gather important water quality information with the aim of informing current and future management and regulatory practices at Waterhole Creek.”
Mr Mossop said land owners next to Waterhole Creek were ideally placed to monitor water quality and potentially reduce impacts from water pollution.
The water monitoring citizen science project is being run in conjunction with West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and will involve new and existing EPA citizen scientists.
Each citizen scientist will need to commit about two hours of their time each fortnight to undertake the ongoing sampling work.
The information session on Saturday, 18 February, will take place at Kernot Hall, 50-70 Princes Drive, Morwell, from 11am – 2pm and lunch will be provided.
Community members interested in attending are encouraged to register at epa.vic.gov.au/waterholecreek or by calling 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).
Photo: EPA's existing citizen science volunteers at Waterhole Creek