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.
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.