February 10 - 16, 2019: Issue 393
Palm Beach Protection Group Launch Supporters Invited: Saturday Feb.16th
Residents Are Saying 'NO' To Off-Leash Dogs In Station Beach Eco-System
The light-blue soldier crab, Mictyris longicarpus
Community Adamant: We Need Level 3 Services At Mona Vale Hospital
The meeting heard from Pittwater MP Rob Stokes, Royal Prince Alfred Associate Professor of Surgery Richard West, NSW Nurses and Midwives Association spokesman Dennis Ravlich, local actor Chris Sadrinna – whose child was turned away from Mona Vale Urgent Care Centre in December with a severe infection - and SMVH chairman Parry Thomas.
Future Of Streamwatch In Pittwater And Across Sydney In Doubt: Funding Ceases In June 2019 - Petition By Volunteers
The Ducks Ponds on McCarrs Creek - This is a "gold standard" creek for the Streamwatch people in Pittwater.
Local Streamwatch volunteers have contacted Pittwater Online News this week with the worrying news that the Program may be in jeopardy. Sydney Water has committed to continue its funding to the Australian Museum, which runs the program, only until June 2019.
It is believed the Steamwatch program costs about $100,000 a year to run.
The Streamwatch is a Citizen Science program which started in 1990, covering the Sydney and Blue Mountains Region. Over 200 trained volunteers in 53 groups monitor around 160 sites. Streamwatch monitors freshwater creeks. Sites are sampled each month and includes, a general observation of the site, water temperature, pH, turbidity, tests for dissolved oxygen and phosphates. Because the volunteers are regular visitors to the site and they are aware of any changes that take place, good or bad and the appropriate action can be taken.
Twice a year, sites are sampled as part of The National Waterbug Blitz supported by The Waterbug App for aquatic macroinvertebrates (waterbugs) these are good indicators of ecosystem health. The presence of the nymphs of Ephemeroptera (Mayflies), Plectopera (Stonefies) and Tricoptera (Caddis Flies) indicate very good quality water. Whereas Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies) Coleoptera (Beetle larvae) Diptera (Flies) and Hemiptera (true Bugs) can tolerate poorer quality water.
The data from these tests show long term regional trends, some good where vegetation restoration has occurred and the reduction of phosphate levels has dropped since the removal of phosphates from detergents, some not so good like the reduced water quality after urban development and the use of concrete to line creeks. Looking to the future, Streamwatch can help monitor the effect of urban development, climate change and the presence of invasive species.
Streamwatch in Pittwater.
There are 4 active groups monitoring 8 sites. Never Fail Falls at Terry Hills, Kedron Reserve, Katandra Reserve, Wirreanda Creek, McCarrs Creek, 2 sites on Mullet Creek and Careel Creek Avalon.
Volunteers in Pittwater and across Sydney are concerned if the program lapses pollutants entering these waterways will not be known about or monitored and improvements in the areas adjacent and the water quality will not occur.
An Australian Museum spokesperson has said the museum is committed to identifying a new organisation to take over operation of the project by July 2019. To date no new home for the program has been announced.
In the meantime the volunteers have launched an online petition calling for support so the vital program is maintained. The petition, which may be signed HERE, reads;
Why does the Berejiklian government say the health of our waterways is critical but cause the Sydney Streamwatch Program to close in June 2019?
Streamwatch volunteers monitor our waterways and deliver scientifically accurate data on water quality and biology, mentor students, alert authorities on pollution, collect litter, provide biosecurity surveillance and local stewardship
Streamwatch is an incredibly cost effective program funded by Sydney Water since 1990 and managed by the Australian Museum since 2013.
The EPA and other government agencies face many challenges in ensuring our waterways and beaches are clean and this iconic citizen science program strengthens their work.
Please tell Premier Berejiklian that Streamwatch must continue with a bipartisan commitment to ongoing funding from all political parties.
The Australian Museum will not be able to continue with the project without funding. In addition, Streamwatch is no longer a strategic long-term fit for the Australian Museum given the museum is not involved in water quality issues and is shifting towards hosting larger exhibitions and more in-house education activities. In July 2018 NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet announced the Australian Museum will receive $50 million to expand its touring exhibition halls.
Summer In Pittwater 2019
three favourite and revered local Historians getting together for a catch-up - The Hon. James (Jim) Macken, Geoff Searl OAM and George Champion OAM. All sharp as a tack still!
southerly busters and storms cooling down the end of hot humid days - and capturing it - like in this great photo by Joe Mills - "This is looking west over Lake Narrabeen about 6 pm, just before the big storm hit." Joe said.