The next Coffs Coast Science Hub event presented in National Science Week is Water!, a chance to experience citizen science in action. Find out what we need to do to help look after our rivers at a community water testing event on Sunday 19 August from 10am – 1pm at the beautiful Bellinger River.

Participants will get hands-on with water testing in an all ages workshop run by water quality expert Sue Lennox from OzGREEN.

Optionally, if you are using river water for drinking, bring a sample of your drinking water for the OzGREEN team to test for Faecal coliform. These bacteria indicate pollution with faeces and potential for disease causing organisms like Giardia and Blastocystis to be present.

We suggest you bring your sample in a clean sterile container and make a donation of $20 to help cover cost of test.

Water! is a family-friendly, all ages event that will include a presentation of findings of the Bellingen Riverwatch citizen science program.

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Bellingen Riverwatch

Bellingen Riverwatch sees community scientists and the scientific community working together to monitor and care for the health of the Bellinger, Never Never and Kalang Rivers. The project’s focus is to help recovery actions to support the critically endangered Bellinger River Turtle, the Myuchelys georgesi. 

Bellingen Riverwatch has an amazing team of 25 community volunteers who work with five local schools. They have been collecting monthly water quality data at 20 sites across the Bellinger and Kalang Rivers since August 2017.

Citizen science programs such as these push the envelope of what ecologists can achieve and promotes Earth stewardship with participants.

“Citizen science connects the community to genuine scientific research and helps contribute to the environment, threatened species conservation, public health and so much more”, says Geetha Ortac, Senior Scientist, Citizen Science Saving our Species, Office of Environment & Heritage, one of the lead partners
in the program.

“The health of the Bellinger River is key to the survival of the Bellinger River Turtle”,
says OzGREEN Co-founder, Sue Lennox.

“OzGREEN is delighted to be partnering with the Office of Environment and Heritage. Riverwatch provides a pathway for the people of Bellingen to get involved. We love our river and rely on the river for our water supplies. We are finding Faecal coliform in parts of the river and anecdotal evidence of water borne diseases. It’s quite concerning.”

Get involved

OzGREEN is recruiting new volunteers into the Bellingen Riverwatch ongoing water monitoring program. If you are interested in getting involved, contact Amy on 0455 602 571 or email riverwatch@ozgreen.org.au.

Water! is a free event presented as part of National Science Week and brought to you by OzGREEN, the Coffs Coast Regional Science Hub and supported by Inspiring Australia, a national strategy to engage communities with science for a sustainable future. Learn more http://www.ozgreen.org/www.ozgreen.org/water.