Citizen scientists and the scientific community working together to support our rivers and their ecosystems by collecting and communicating long-term data to enact positive change.
The rivers in the Bellingen Shire are some of the most pristine rivers in Australia. Even still, there are river health issues presenting in Bellingen Riverwatch data and other river health reports in several parts of the river.
Bellingen Riverwatch was created to provide consistent water quality data in the Bellinger and Kalang catchments following a disease outbreak that caused a mass mortality event of the critically endangered Bellinger River Snapping Turtle (BRST) in early 2015. Collecting scientifically valid and ongoing water quality data was identified by scientists and community alike as a priority focus area to monitor river health, identify priority areas for management actions and educate the community and landholders on the impact they may be having on their environment.
Bellingen Riverwatch engages 40 local community citizen scientist volunteers and 5 schools to collect monthly water quality data at 30 sites every month across the Bellinger and Kalang catchments. We communicate our data with program partners and the community via our Facebook page and our free River Health Newsletter. Read more about Bellingen Riverwatch, the turtle mortality event, and the turtle recovery and conservation actions currently underway here. Bellingen Riverwatch is seeking to form partnerships to support this wonderful program into the future.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Country on which we work, the Gumbaynggirr people of the Gumbaynggirr nation. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.