OzFish Unlimited, a not-for-profit organisation involved in maintaining healthy waterways, will be hosting a citizen science workshop at Khappinghat Creek this Saturday, June 11.
Running between 9am and 1pm, it will involve taking environmental DNA (eDNA) samples along with other monitoring activities to analyse the health of the waterway and the types of animals it supports.
"EDNA is the process whereby we take a water sample and test it for traces of DNA from certain fish species that might not be abundant in that area," said OzFish Habitat Officer, Taylah Kirk. "Every living creature leaves traces of their DNA in their surrounding environment through skin cells, and other bodily secretions, and we are now able to test this without causing any disruption to the waterway".
The workshop follows a recent clean-up event at Saltwater Reserve. Conducted in partnership with Tangaroa Blue Foundation, the day saw volunteers collecting over 13kg of rubbish in under 30 minutes.
Following collection, the rubbish was sorted into relevant categories and uploaded to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative as a way to understand where the rubbish comes from, and how common certain pieces of rubbish are in that area.
"If everyone just takes a few pieces home with them at the end of their outing, and places their plastics in the bin, then hopefully these types of events don't have to happen in the future"- Taylah Kirk
According to Tangaroa's Blues information the most commonly found rubbish found in the Old Bar region was plastic packaging. Taylah says this type of information should be a huge wake up call for anyone visiting the area.
"Hearing information like this gives us hope that we can clean up these areas for good. If everyone just takes a few pieces home with them at the end of their outing, and places their plastics in the bin, then hopefully these types of events don't have to happen in the future," Taylah said.
"We love having areas like this in our backyard, and it's up to us to make sure they stay clean and healthy. Clean-ups like this are just one way we can kick start the rehabilitation process", said Taylah.
For anyone interested in volunteering for the June 11 event, all necessary equipment and training will be provided on the day, with volunteers advised to bring at least 2 litres of drinking water and wear long sleeves, long pants, a hat, sunscreen, and enclosed shoes.
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