EstuaryWatch volunteers monitor Erskine

LorneCare Volunteer monitoring the estuary.

The LorneCare September Newsletter reports volunteers have been monitoring various aspects of Lorne estuaries and the prevailing sea and weather conditions as part of the Erskine River EstuaryWatch Group.

Two LorneCare volunteers, Michael Callanan and Ulric Orr, photograph their observations monthly and record them on to the EstuaryWatch database.

“We take photo points and monitor wind, whether the river is flowing out or in and measure the height of the tide by using the tide chart board near the Erskine River.

“The estuary is dynamic, fascinating and we are always noticing changes,” Mr Callanan said.

CCMA EstuaryWatch Coordinator Rose Herben explained in the September LorneCare Newsletter that EstuaryWatch is a community-based estuarine monitoring program collecting monthly estuary mouth condition and physical-chemical data.

The program was initiated as part of the Large Scale River Restoration Initiative – Managing our Great Ocean Road Estuaries, a program coordinated through the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA),

Estuaries are an important link between the ocean and the land, where salty marine waters mix with freshwater from rivers and streams.

EstuaryWatch data has already been used to track events such as fish deaths, blue green algae blooms, storm surges and floods.

Information collected by EstuaryWatch volunteers over these events has allowed estuary managers to better understand the estuaries they work with and assist them in communicating to members of the public what is happening in and around an estuary before during and after an event such as an algal bloom.

LorneCare volunteers have also been continually monitoring water quality at four locations along the Erskine River as part of the CCMA Waterwatch Program.

Location of sampling sites:

  • Two sites about 1.5km upstream from Lorne on either side of a gully feeding into the Erskine River from the site of the old Shire tip.
  • A third at the Erskine River Caravan Park
  • A fourth at the Swing Bridge

As well as monitoring estuaries and water quality, LorneCare also hold Working Bees on the third Sunday of each month at 10am focusing on weed removal and revegetation followed by a BBQ.

LorneCare volunteer helping on a Working Bee

EstuaryWatch will be conducting a Night Seminar Series “Estuaries Unmasked” held at the Lorne Leisure Centre, Stribling Reserve from 6.30 to 8.30pm on Thursday 11 October 2012.  During the afternoon there will also be Walk the River and Water Bug Discovery activities.

To become involved in the session or day activities please RSVP to CCMA at 5232 9100 or, or to become involved in the LorneCare Working Bees look out for the information listed in the Lorne Independent and Echo newspapers.

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