StreamWatch is a long running volunteer water monitoring program with 170 volunteers across the Sydney, Blue Mountains and Illawarra region. Starting in 1990, StreamWatch began with a trial in 15 schools and a focus on curriculum implementation in secondary schools, but quickly extended beyond schools into a citizen science program. There is currently one active Streamwatch group in Lane Cove.
Stringybark Creek StreamWatch Group
Meets on the 1st Saturday of every month from 9.30am - 11am.
Meet: right of way leading down to Batten Reserve, adjacent to 21 Johnston Crescent, Lane Cove North
National Waterbug Blitz
Grab a dip net and magnifying glass and join in the National Waterbug Blitz to discover which aquatic creatures are living in our creeks! These tiny creatures are great indicators of waterway health, so any water bugs you collect will provide useful information about our creeks. A great Citizen Science program for all the family to be involved with! All equipment and guidance provided by Council.
Join us on Saturday 8 February, 9:00am – 11:00am at Stringybark Creek in Batten Reserve, Lane Cove North. Book online for this event
To join StreamWatch or Waterbug Blitz, please contact the Bushcare Co-ordinator on 9911 3579 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
StreamWatch groups test a range of water qualities including, but not limited to; turbidity, electrical conductivity, pH and temperature. These measurements paint a picture of our creeks and catchment:
Turbidity measures the cloudiness of water caused by tiny particles. High turbidity reduces the growth of aquatic plants which affects the animals that rely on these plants. It also makes it difficult for animals to breathe by clogging their gills. Turbidity is caused by soil erosion due to heavy rainfall or floods and sediments from building sites amongst other causes.
Electrical conductivity is used as an indirect measure of salinity. The greater the concentration of salt in water, the better it conducts electricity. Large and rapid changes in salinity are usually the result of human activities such as industrial discharge and sewage discharge.
pH measures the acidity and alkalinity of the water. Most aquatic organisms are adapted to living within narrow pH ranges around neutral. The optimal pH range for most Australian freshwater organisms is from 6.5 to 8.0. If the pH remains outside the optimal range, aquatic organisms will become stressed and it can cause a decrease in the number of species living in a waterway.
Water temperature is the major factor determining how much dissolved oxygen there is in water. Cold water is able to hold more dissolved oxygen than warm water, and dissolved oxygen is essential for the survival of aquatic animals.
For more information about StreamWatch, visit Greater Sydney Landcare Network.