Did you know that your health can be impacted by poor air quality from burning activities, such as backyard burning and woodfire heaters?

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is pleased to offer residents of the Yarra Ranges Shire the opportunity to engage in a 12-month, pilot community-led project focused on reducing smoke impacts on health.

The pilot involves three parts:

  • Co-monitoring – measuring smoke impacts in your Shire, using existing sensors owned by both EPA and community.
  • Co-interpretation – understanding smoke impacts, including how to use woodfire heaters and undertake safe backyard burning practices.
  • Shared understanding – using the information collected to develop a community-led action plan for reducing health impacts from smoke activities, supported by EPA.

EPA are seeking residents from the Yarra Ranges Shire, interested in the environment, health and volunteering to participate in this project. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Community groups (e.g. scouts, youth clubs, bushwalkers, nature photographers, retirees, cycling groups).
  • School students and teachers.
  • Readers of science/environmentally minded media (e.g. National Geographic, Australian Geographic, Bushwalking magazines, ABC, local papers and mainstream media).
  • Retired scientists.
  • Environmental consultants.
  • Members of environmental organisations (e.g. Landcare, Friends groups).
  • Members of the public already participating in focus groups.

Participants will have the opportunity to work with EPA in three-four workshops over 12 months, focusing on air quality and health. The outcome of the project will be to produce a community-led smoke plan to reduce impacts to health from smoke activities.

Citizen Science is an exciting and innovative way of improving the information and understanding of the environment and environmental public health in Victoria and to better engage and partner with the community.

Please indicate your interest through the attached survey or direct any queries or concerns to Cass Bates at Citizen.Science@epa.vic.gov.au.

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Reviewed 2 February 2021