A young coastal volunteer is keen for more people to discover the coast’s “intriguing” estuaries at an upcoming community event.
Anglesea EstuaryWatch volunteer Georgie Grieg, 23, regularly takes samples at five different sites along the Anglesea River estuary, including the estuary mouth, as part of the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA) EstuaryWatch Program.
CCMA is hosting an “Estuaries Unmasked” event with presentations from coastal experts for people interested in learning about river estuaries and the EstuaryWatch program. Special guest speakers include Fiona Warry, an Estuarine Scientist at Arthur Rylah Institute and Gregory McDonald from Wild Sea at Melbourne Zoo.
Ninety-three active monitors across the state are involved in EstuaryWatch, monitoring estuaries to help river managers determine their health.
Ms Greig, who is a safari guide at Werribee Open Range Zoo, said she got involved because she wanted to learn more about waterways and river health and estuaries really intrigued her.
“I knew they had two layers with the salt and fresh water but I didn’t know much more and I thought joining EstuaryWatch was a good way to check out the beach and would be a pretty relaxing way to spend some time too.
“My role in this group involves monitoring the estuary every couple of months (each month it is monitored by two of the Anglesea volunteers), filling in if needed and being an avid team leader.
“It’s rewarding to be a part of the group and to know the data collected is important for estuary health and basic knowledge,” she said.
CCMA EstuaryWatch coordinator Rose Herben said there are seven volunteers who conduct monitoring and testing at the Anglesea River.
“Volunteers take photos of the river mouth, record wind strength and sea scales, and monitor whether the estuary is open or closed. They also test oxygen, salinity, depth, pH levels, and assess how water quality changes from top to bottom,” she said.
Volunteers record data collected on the EstuaryWatch Online Database which covers estuaries in all three CMA regions and can be viewed by clicking on the location maps at estuarywatch.com.au.
“Community members are always interested and keen to know more about what you are doing so there are opportunities to connect the public to their estuary and conservation initiatives,” Ms Greig said.
The seminar is on Wednesday 22 May from 6.30-8.30pm at Apollo Bay Bowls Club, 6 Moore Street, and Apollo Bay. To RSVP for the seminar or to learn more about EstuaryWatch contact Rose Herben on 5232 9100.
Have you been involved in an EstuaryWatch program? Leave your experience in the comments section below.