Georges River Council's large-scale landscape and stormwater naturalisation project within Lower Gannons Park is nearing completion. This includes the former Boggy Well Creek being diverted from an underground stormwater pipe to a reinstated creek. The water will flow through constructed wetlands, swales and bioretention systems, where it will be treated to remove pollutants.
Georges Riverkeeper has been helping Sutherland Shire Council maintain the predator-free sand island constructed in Woolooware Bay. The island's purpose is to provide a safe habitat for shorebird roosting and nesting.
This is the ideal spot for this island as it serves as a sandy haven, unaffected by high tides, for many of the migratory birds that come from as far away as Siberia, China and Japan to feed on the intertidal flats around Towra Point Nature Reserve nearby.
Works at the Oyster Creek Gully site have been going well with coverage of both woody and herbaceous weeds continuing to decline across the site. After the grant funded project has finished, Sutherland Shire Council is committed to maintaining the site’s condition, partly with the help of the four Bushcare groups that regularly meet at the site (pictured here is one of the groups of dedicated volunteers).
The recent drought, then flood, as well as large amounts of wrack (seaweed and other detritus that’s accumulated on the tide mark) have impacted some of the sites. However, almost all of the plants at Little Salt Pan Creek (City of Canterbury Bankstown) and Poulton Park (Georges River Council), and most of the plants at the Rickard Road site at Oyster Bay (Sutherland Shire Council) are doing well and increasing in cover.
Microplastics are a huge problem for our waterways. They have been known to harbour toxic chemicals and their small size makes them easily ingested by aquatic wildlife. Unlike when litter washes ashore, microplastics are a relatively invisible problem, even beaches that appear to be clean with the naked eye can have significant microplastic contamination.
Quantifying microplastic pollutants has been done by Georges Riverkeeper for over a year. During April, Georges Riverkeeper conducted microplastic sampling at 11 sites along the Georges River and Botany Bay.
Georges Riverkeeper recently collected sediment samples from streams across the Georges River catchment for the Pesticide Detectives project. The project is an initiative to measure the occurrence and concentration of pesticides in waterways across Australia. The project includes both rural waterways and urban waterways, such as the Georges River.
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.