The Barwon River EstuaryWatch Group has been monitoring for water health at various sites along the estuary since 2007. The Barwon estuary is the largest in the Corangamite region and incorporates a system of wetlands and lakes, including Reedy Lake. In 2016, the CCMA implemented a seasonal watering program for Reedy Lake using existing infrastructure to control the movement of water.
The aim of this is to return the water regime of the lake to a more natural state and improve the biodiversity of the wetland system. To assist, the Barwon EstuaryWatch group have kindly stepped up and expanded their monitoring activities to include sites at Reedy Lake.
The group of volunteers took their first monitoring trip to Reedy Lake in February and found it a fascinating experience. “You can see and feel the history of Reedy Lake and what it’s been through” said EstuaryWatcher Greg Kelly, “It would be good to get more management and understanding around it, and I feel that’s what we’re a part of”.
The EstuaryWatchers will play an important role in collecting surface water quality and vegetation change data during the summer and autumn period when water levels are lowered on Reedy Lake. This will help the CCMA form a better picture of the health of the system and will form an integral part of a larger scientific program to monitor acid sulphate soils, groundwater, contaminant levels, and some ecological baseline data to inform future watering actions. This ongoing partnership between the EstuaryWatch group and the CCMA is a great example of how citizen science can play an important role in managing the health of the Corangamite region’s natural assets.