Georges Riverkeeper's River Health monitoring of freshwater sites not only involves measuring water quality but also collecting waterbugs.
Georges Riverkeeper recently completed fieldwork to inform River Health grading, despite a few hindrances.
Monitoring of the estuary occurred from December 2019 through to March 2020, travelling from the mouth of the river up to Liverpool Weir to monitor chlorophyll a (indicative of algal productivity) and turbidity (i.e. cloudiness of the water) through the warmer months of the year.
Monitoring the freshwater sites upstream of Liverpool Weir occurred in the months of November 2019 and April 2020.
The NSW Arbovirus Surveillance and Mosquito Monitoring Program recently detected Barmah Forest Virus in mosquitoes in areas around the Georges River, according to a press release issued earlier this month by the South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD)
According to the SWSLHD’s Public Health Unit Director, Dr Naru Pa, “Barmah Forest virus and Ross River virus are spread by mosquitoes that feed on infected animals.’’
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major affect upon all of our lives and we hope that the measures we are all taking will minimise harm. Unfortunately, pandemics occur periodically, effecting different species and in some cases have devastating effects. Such was the case for cultivated oysters in the Georges River.
After recent rain, Oyster Creek Gully in Sutherland Shire is looking stunning, with a lovely flow of water bubbling down the boulder-lined creek.
The rain has also led to an influx of annual weeds which is keeping the contractors working as part of our Oyster Creek Gully Restoration Project busy, for the time being.
Georges Riverkeeper staff were recently on site with Sutherland Shire Council and the contractors to assess the site's progression.
Over 30 shopping trolleys have been removed in just a few hours with the help of an excavator, as part of our restoration of Simmos Beach, Macquarie Fields. Unfortunately, the site has been a hot spot for dumping over the years with shopping trolleys creating an extensive blockage in the creekline. Rob Dixon from Georges Riverkeeper and Mat Misdale from Campbelltown City Council helped to get an excavator down into the site to remove the blockage after struggling with hand tools which were only capable of removing two trolleys at a time.
Georges Riverkeeper facilitated a workforce of 16 bus loads of teams from NSW Department of Justice - Corrective Services, per week, to remove 20,026 kilograms of rubbish from the catchment and waterways during the most recent quarter (January to March, 2020). This brings the yearly total of rubbish removed to 71,574 kilograms, so far, this financial year.
We are troubled to see COVID-19 affecting more and more businesses and industries, however, we are optimistic that Georges Riverkeeper can continue to proceed with traditional River Health monitoring activities at this time.
Our summer season of monitoring estuarine water quality was completed in March. We are currently monitoring the riparian vegetation, water quality and waterbugs in freshwater sites.
We will also undertake microplastics monitoring along the river, using AUSMAP methods.
On Sunday 8 March, 60 volunteers removed 1 tonne of marine debris from the Georges River during the Georges River Clean Up which incorporated a Paddle Against Plastic event.
This community day was held as part of a broader clean up conducted by Ocean Crusaders and Georges Riverkeeper, funded through the office of David Coleman MP and the Federal Government’s Communities Environment Program, that removed a total of 10.9 tonnes of rubbish from the river over a 7 day period.