How are we going? A Progress Report on Gold Coast Waterwatch July-September 2015

Our Waterwatch team has been ever so busy and we wanted to share with you what we got up to throughout the July to September period of the 2015 program. During this time our educators worked with 11 schools and approximately 1,035 students, wow! With all of these enthusiastic young waterwatchers we successfully carried out monitoring at 12 sites within 5 catchments throughout the Gold Coast. So what about the nuts and bolts of it all? Well, over this time we taught 16 lessons (over 19 testing days), which were made up of 10 macro-invertebrate (water bug) investigations, 4 physical-chemical analyses (chemical water testing) and 2 habitat assessments.

On top of all of this teaching, Gold Coast Waterwatch were excited to be involved in 3 separate community days including ‘Discovery in the Garden’ at the Gold Coast Botanical Gardens, Pimpama State School Science Fair and the ‘Celebrate Gold Coast Festival’ at the Country Paradise Parklands in Nerang. These events were all great fun for everyone involved and the Waterwatch team had the opportunity to reach some of the 5,300 people that attended, giving us great opportunities to promote the program and liaise with like-minded organisations. We look forward to attending many more events like these so we can continue to build awareness and enthusiasm within the community.

Throughout this time in 2015, we were not only very busy delivering educational lessons, but have also put a lot of work into further developing the GCWW program. The GCWW website is looking better than ever and continues to provide more resources and links for those interested. For example all of the important Waterwatch resources and methods of testing are available online to anyone who wishes to view them. The GCWW Facebook page has also been regularly updated to keep the community in the loop with Waterwatch events and news.

Another big milestone for this period has included the completion and printing of Series 1 of our “Waterways Field Guide” which we recently showcased in our last blog article. Entitled “Water Bugs”, this guide is published as a deck of full colour cards featuring high quality photographs, well-researched information on each water bug, as well as the sensitivity each creature has to pollution or adverse conditions in the waterway. These guides will be used during Waterwatch lessons and are also to be handed out to the public at community events, to further educate people on the close relationship between freshwater bugs and waterway health. Three more guides are almost complete in this series, including Waterway Habitats, Riparian Vegetation and Water Dependent Life Cycles. These will work together with the water bug guide to make up a complete “Waterways Field Guide” series. Providing a complete and comprehensive educational resource for the study of waterway biology, ecology and morphology.

Well what a busy couple of months! Many thanks go out to the amazing Gold Coast Waterwatch team, but more importantly, a big thanks also goes out the students, teachers, volunteers and community members who are truly what makes this fantastic program such a success.