Citizen Science

What is Citizen Science?

Citizen science is scientific research conducted by volunteers who are passionate about protecting and monitoring the environment around their community.

Why get involved in Citizen Science?

  • It connects you to people in your community with similar interests
  • You get to collaborate with scientists and people who make decisions about your local environment
  • It provides you with quality, hands-on experience in field work and monitoring activities
  • You contribute to the improvement and management of habitats for native plants and animals
  • It gives an insight into land management and how environmental authorities make informed decisions
  • It shows how data contributes to important river health work

EstuaryWatch and WaterWatch Victoria are two key citizen science programs involved in the Corangamite region. Take a look at the data from these programs via the portals below.

What are EstuaryWatch and WaterWatch?

EstuaryWatch and WaterWatch are community water monitoring programs focused on monitoring waterway condition and improving environmental education and awareness. They bring together schools, community, landcare groups, landowners, councils, water managers and individuals to test the quality of their local stream or waterway so action can be taken to maintain or improve the water quality.

EstuaryWatch and WaterWatch Corangamite Participation Statistics 2021-2022

Corangamite WaterWatch

Corangamite WaterWatch provides free training, support and equipment for individuals and groups interested in monitoring water quality in our region’s rivers, streams and wetlands.

WaterWatch aims to give the community better knowledge about water issues and to encourage water quality monitoring groups to undertake constructive action. Volunteers with a passion for the environment provide water quality data from waterways across Victoria. The data is used to monitor waterway condition and assess whether change (positive or negative) is occurring. All data collected is publicly available at

Along with water quality monitoring, individuals and groups also evaluate habitat, survey aquatic macro-invertebrates (waterbugs) and photograph sites to evaluate how waterway condition is changing.

WaterWatch Victoria has successfully engaged people with their local rivers since 1993, raising awareness about river health and waterway management.

Corangamite CMA’s WaterWatch program is funded by the Victorian Government and supported by Barwon Water, Central Highlands Water and the City of Ballarat.


EstuaryWatch is a community based, citizen science estuary monitoring program which began in 2006 through the Corangamite CMA and the Western Coastal Board. The program has now expanded to monitor the condition of nine estuaries in the Corangamite region.

Each EstuaryWatch group consists of a team of four to six volunteer who roster themselves to monitor sites each month. Each estuary differs in the length of time monitored, and the time it takes to monitor.

During a site visit EstuaryWatch volunteers use specialised equipment to collect water quality data for the portal. Groups also photograph and record details of changing water levels, vegetation condition and the status of estuary mouths (e.g. whether they are open or closed).

The information collected assists in determining estuarine health and supports estuarine managers in decision making.

Murrabul Yaluk Water Quality Monitoring Program

Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation are undertaking water quality testing on the Murrabul Yaluk in partnership with WaterWatch Victoria and the Corangamite CMA to help bring more water into the waterway, protecting and enhancing its rich Cultural values.

Take a look below to learn more about the partnership and what it’s doing to bring Cultural values and waterway management together.

River Detectives

Exploring local waterways with students

This hands-on program is an initiative of Catchment Management Authorities that supports teachers and leaders to connect young people to their local waterway.

Schools and youth community groups can apply to be a part of the program and, if successful, are provided with a water quality monitoring kit on loan, teacher training sessions, access to additional resources and an interactive data recording portal on the River Detectives website.

Spaces in the River Detectives program are limited. Applications generally open in November for the following school year.

Education Kits & Volunteer Tool Box

Corangamite CMA’s estuary and wetland education kits engage students in learning about the pressures affecting waterways, vegetation and wildlife of the region, and what they can do to help.

Contact our Regional Citizen Science Officers to find out more.


The Volunteer Tool Box supports citizen scientists with resources needed for monitoring activities including instructions and forms. Click the here to learn more.

Become a Citizen Scientist today

If you’re interested in becoming a citizen scientist and undertaking water quality testing activities please fill out the form below.


Citizen Science eNews

Keep up to date with environmental volunteering in the Corangamite region including the WaterWatch, EstuaryWatch and Western District Ramsar Lakes Photopoint monitoring programs. Learn how we track the health of waterways and catchments and discover community engagement events and opportunities happening across the region.

Past Issues






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How to Spot a Platypus

The Corangamite CMA have partnered with Barwon Water to create the brochure below. 'How to Spot a Platypus' is a guide to help anyone walking alongside a river or creek look for the tell-tale signs of platypus, and what to do when they see one. Take a look below.


For more information contact Corangamite CMA Citizen Science managers:

Deirdre Murphy -

Kristen Lees -

These programs are supported by Barwon Water, Central Highlands Water and City of Ballarat.

Contact Us

Colac Office

64 Dennis Street, Colac VIC 3250
PO Box 159, Colac, VIC 3250
Hours: 8:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday

T: 1800 002 262

Geelong office

Hours: 8:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday
All mail must be sent via our Colac office
PO Box 159, Colac, VIC 3250

T: 1800 002 262