CQ community puts hand up to care for local waterways

In a heartening show of support for the environment, the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health has seen its largest number of entrants ever received in its annual Care for Creeks Bursary, assisting youth and community members care and learn about the health of our local rivers and creeks.

Nathan Johnston, Executive Officer of Fitzroy Partnership for River Health said it was an exciting position to be in, as he announced four winners from a diverse range of backgrounds and locations for the annual Care for Creeks Bursary.

The bursaries are open to primary and secondary schools and community groups and aim to engage the region’s younger generation in monitoring the health of our creeks and rivers.

“We are proud to announce that in our third year for the Care for Creek Bursaries we have awarded four winners – Central Highlands Cotton Growers and Irrigators Association/Central Highlands Science Centre group partnership; Marlborough State School; Wowan/Dululu Landcare Group and the Gundoo Junior Rangers in Rockhampton,” Mr Johnston said.

“While we anticipated awarding two bursaries in 2015, the strong interest and the unique diversity of the entrants prompted us to increase the bursaries so those that have shown a keen interest in our environment and caring for our local waterways get the assistance they need to do this on the ground,” he said.

The first Bursary was awarded to the joint Central Highlands Group at a Nogoa River Family Fun Day in Emerald on Saturday 24 October 2015, with the group receiving their waterway monitoring kits including a salinity meter, turbidity tube, pH test strips, waterbug sampling equipment, a local weed guide and a fish trap and guide, as well as field sheets to record their data.

“We wanted the groups to be able to share their findings with the world so they also will get access to the Partnership’s online community portal, MyWater to record ongoing community data, about the health of their specific local waterway, so that the data can be loaded and accessed by everyone.”

“This community monitoring aligns with the work of the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health which works to provide a clearer picture of the health of our waterways, by combining more than 1.2 million datasets each year to create a grade for each catchment, and an overall grade for the health of the Fitzroy Basin.

“We want to acknowledge the ongoing support of our Major Partners and Partners and highlight that these organisations have committed funds and energy to providing a more complete picture of waterway health and to increase the community’s awareness of the importance of caring for our local creeks and rivers.”

Central Queenslanders can access the online community portal MyWater and latest reporting products from the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health by visiting http://riverhealth.org.au/reports/.

The Fitzroy Partnership for River Health, formed in 2012, includes organisations from government, agriculture, resources, industry, research and community and continues its aim of providing a more complete picture of river health in the Fitzroy Basin.

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