'Bellingen Riverwatch: Our River, Our Future' is an innovative citizen science program, which aims to create opportunities for scientists and community to work together to monitor and care for the health of the Bellinger and Kalang Rivers.
The program is being delivered by OzGREEN together with the Citizen Science, Saving our Species unit of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Other project partners include: scientists from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW WaterWatch, Bellingen Shire Council, Bellinger Landcare, Western Sydney University, Taronga Zoo Sydney, and Eco Logical Australia.
The program's objectives are to:
- Build capacity in the community to gather consistent water quality data for the rivers in Bellingen Shire to assist with threatened species conservation and environmental management actions.
- Increase awareness and understanding of river health and threatened species leading to an increase in community environmental stewardship.
- Promote responsible behaviour in people visiting from local, national and international destinations.
The program will gather data on river health that will be used to support the recovery of endangered species, including the critically endangered Bellinger River Turtle ‘Myuchelys georgesi’.
A core part of the program will be the development of a group of volunteer citizen scientists. Volunteers will be trained in water quality monitoring techniques by lead scientists in the field, and will assist in a monthly water quality snapshot of the Bellinger River.
You can also register your interest in becoming a volunteer citizen scientist here.