Townsville schools and community groups are being encouraged to take part in Creekwatch through the Adopt-a-Creek program launching on World Rivers Day this Sunday (26 September).
Creekwatch is a Townsville City Council initiative delivered in collaboration with OzFish Unlimited that empowers communities to get involved in water catchment management and monitoring.
Council Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said getting schools and community groups on board is a great way to foster a connection between residents and the environment.
“Creekwatch and Adopt-a-Creek are all about giving residents an opportunity to explore and connect with our natural environment and play an active role in its enhancement,” Cr Soars said.
“As a Reef Guardian Council, we constantly look for new ways to bring the community on the journey to conserve and protect our waterways and the Marine Park.
“Adopt-a-Creek is a particularly exciting way to educate our young learners about our natural habitats and the unique diversity that can be found throughout the region and provide schools and community groups with the knowledge and resources needed to deliver the program.
“Creekwatch is a long-running program that took a short break after our previous project partners moved out of the city so it’s great that thanks to the partnership with OzFish it has started back up and expanded to include the Adopt-a-Creek initiative.”
The Creekwatch program gives recreational fishers, community members and local schools ongoing opportunities to be custodians of their waterways with activities including fish and macroinvertebrate sampling, water quality monitoring, and ecosystem restoration.
Participants in the Adopt-a-Creek program will receive training and waterway monitoring kits to conduct activities in their chosen creek.
OzFish Project Manager, Dr Geoff Collins, is looking forward to seeing the benefits to local waterways and the social benefits to community members.
“Monitoring fish and invertebrates in our local waterways around Townsville is essential to give us a clear picture of the health of these systems, and to identify opportunities where habitat can be improved for the benefit of fish stocks,” Dr Collins said.
“The Townsville community have been great custodians of their waterways in the past and we’re particularly excited about the addition of Adopt-a-Creek, which will allow even more of the community to be involved in important waterway monitoring.”