Learn how to assess the health of our waterways by foraging for waterbugs!
You may not have noticed before, but our rivers and creeks are home to hundreds of different species of waterbugs! Some of these waterbugs are very sensitive to pollution and so through their presence or absence, we are able to determine whether a particular waterway is healthy or not. The data collected is nationally recognised and is shared with our local councils to provide up to date information about the health of our waterways. Collecting and identifying these waterbugs also happens to be a whole heap of fun!
Come along to one of our surveys and learn how to collect a waterbug sample, and how to sift through, collect and identify dozens of different waterbugs. You will also learn how to score each bug on the pollution sensitivity scale to arrive at your overall water quality rating. We promise you, you will be amazed at the quantity and the diversity of waterbugs that exist in our waterways!
Also, seize the opportunity to use our state of the art water quality probe to record vital data regarding our local water composition! Water pH, oxygen levels, temperature and other parameters can have a huge impact on the quality of our waterways which the Water Quality program assesses through monthly readings. We also rely on our volunteers to record observational details that could effect waterbug numbers or the water quality reading such as current and recent weather conditions, visible rubbish and pollution, weeds, site usage or disturbance, and wildlife sightings.
Coordinated by The Gold Coast Catchment Association and supported by the City of Gold Coast (Catchment Management Unit), the Water Quality Monitoring program is a collaborative effort between Gecko, Coomera River Catchment Group, Nerang River Keepers, Austinville Landcare & Somerset College
We are heading out to our Southern sites with the Gecko crew! Please meet us at Lions Park in Tallebudgera Valley from 9-11am (53 Syndicate Rd).
What to bring
Gum boots/water shoes. No one will be permitted to enter the water without shoes due to safety concerns.
Sun protection: Natural non-polluting sunscreen, wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves
Lots of drinking water
Please make sure to register to get all the updates on locations and times! This program is suitable for all age levels.