Bellingen Riverwatch is made possible by our wonderful volunteers...
Water Testing Volunteers
A core part of Bellingen Riverwatch is the dedicated team of local volunteer citizen scientists, who undertake monthly water quality testing across 22 sites along the Bellinger and Kalang rivers. Volunteers have been trained in water quality monitoring techniques by lead scientists in the field and participate in extra optional training and workshops as the project unfolds (e.g. bird identification, water bug identification, etc).
"I recently moved to Bellingen and my niece, Skye, invited me to come along with her when she was doing the water testing. Having recently retired from a career in science I thought it would be a great way to help collect vital data needed to further understand the increasing stresses we put on our environment. Good data collection is at the core of good science so it is fundamental that we collect as much as possible.It also helps me integrate into the community and I get to spend time by the river with my niece.
"In our little town of Bellingen, we are very lucky to have the Bellingen Riverwatch project making it possible for locals to become more educated and involved. I’ve loved sharing the information learnt with my children, and watching them learn, asking questions, and playing an active part in it. I’ve loved learning from the team and seeing their passion and enthusiasm around the project. I'd definitely recommend citizen science to anyone. It’s educational, inspiring...it’s a way to get involved in science and help."
I am grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to gathering baseline and ongoing data of our local river health. Various land uses in the catchment concern me such as unmanaged stock, clear fell forestry, and excessive or inappropriate fertiliser and pesticide use. I hope that my small efforts can help add to a bigger picture that will ultimately improve our care of the local catchment area and therefore the river health, for all the life it supports.
"I feel its important to monitor the water quality of Bellingen River for the benefit of all those who use our beautiful river, particularly our native aquatic life".
Our roving volunteers are an invaluable part of the program. Our "roving volunteers" support the testing at core sites and step in if our water testing volunteers are ill or away. Also, if one of our volunteers move or their commitments change, we fill these positions from our roving volunteers, who are fully trained, thus, we have no down-time when vacancies arise.
We are now building a worldwide base of Holler Volunteers, who will help us get the word out about the plight of the turtle and help build support for this innovative citizen science project. Holler volunteers may be interested in volunteering to distribute flyers/posters, attend market stalls, collect donations, talk to prospective sponsors or assist with social media. Contact us if you are interested.