Citizen Science Grant Announcement
Federal Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Greg Hunt MP and Jason Salinski MP, Federal Member for Mackeller announced the opening of the Citizen Science Grants as part of the Inspiring Australia - Science Engagement Programme at Irrawong Reserve in Warriewood. The grants were opened at the Warriewood wetlands chapter of  the Australian Museum Streamwatch program which encourages local communities to monitor the water quality and health of their regional water ways. Representing the Australian Museum is Kim McKay, Director and CEO, Paul Flemons, Manager of Digital Collections and Citizen Science and Greg McDonald and Cecil Ellis of the Streamwatch project. Also present was Erin Rogers, Chair of the Australian Citizen Science Association. Image: Abram Powell
© ©Australian Museum

Sydney, 21 May 2019: Long-running citizen science water monitoring program Streamwatch has a new home with environmental conservation leader Landcare, the Australian Museum announced today.

For almost 30 years, Streamwatch and its hundreds of dedicated volunteers have been monitoring the quality and health of local waterways at sites in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra.

The program was launched in 1990 by Sydney Water, and in 2012 the Australian Museum took over management of the program.

From July 2019, management of Streamwatch and the activities of its volunteers will transfer to the Greater Sydney Landcare Network.

“As a large volunteer based organisation, well-known for its commitment to the environment, conservation and the community, Greater Sydney Landcare Network is an ideal fit to manage the Streamwatch program and ensure its success well into the future,” Kim McKay AO,Australian Museum Director & CEO, said today.

Greater Sydney Landcare Network (GSLN) is a membership-based community organisation that aims to support individuals and groups who are working to protect, restore and improve the natural environment of Greater Sydney. It currently has volunteer teams working on projects in metropolitan Sydney, greater western Sydney, the Central Coast and Blue Mountains.

Nicola Trulock, Chair of the GSLN, said “it is a terrific opportunity to manage the two volunteer networks to deliver enhanced environmental protection and education on the ground. Clean water is key to biodiversity outcomes within Greater Sydney and the GSLN Committee is excited to be able to bring this vital Citizen Science programme under the Landcare umbrella.”

Streamwatch currently has 250 active volunteers including community volunteers, TAFE and university students, council staff, and high school teachers. They engage in the scientific observation of their local waterways with the data collected used as an early warning system for pollution events and to provide a historical record of how waterway health has tracked over time.

“We are extremely grateful to the many hundreds of volunteers who have contributed to this extensive water monitoring dataset, and we look forward to seeing the program strengthen and continue with the support and guidance of the experienced team at Greater Sydney Landcare Network,” Ms McKay said.

The Australian Museum will continue to support the Streamwatch program by providing the digital portal for the ongoing collection and storage of water monitoring data. The existing data set collected over the last 28-years will also be made publicly available on the NSW Government’s SEED portal that shares and enables environmental data.

Anyone wanting to learn more about Streamwatch and associated volunteering opportunities should contact streamwatch@greatersydneylandcare.org.

ENDS

Media inquiries: Shirani Glover (02) 9320 6086 / 0401 915 234 shirani.glover@austmus.gov.au