Freshwater Citizen Science at ZEALANDIA
On 18th November 2017, Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) run its first Freshwater Citizen Science workshop aimed at community groups. This workshop was held in ZEALANDIA as part of its new project, Sanctuary to Sea. Around 40 people from all ages and from various locations around the Wellington region, including Kaiwharawhara water catchment, Owhiro and Waiwhetu streams, attended this instructive and fun event.
The workshop started at 1pm with talks by Grace Leung (GWRC) and Liz Gibson (Mountain to Sea- White Bait Connections) introducing freshwater science and monitoring. Liz demonstrated the Stream Health Monitoring Assessment kit, more commonly known as the SHMAK. This is a set of tools to measure the water quality and physical features of the stream and record plant and animal living in the stream. The talks were followed with a presentation by Alice Bradley (Ministry of Environment) introducing the JumpIn! App which links freshwater restoration and citizen science activities.
After a short tea break and yummy biscuits, the group headed to the Te Mahanga stream at Birdwood Reserve for a practical demonstration. Three stations were set along the stream. At the first station, the group had a look at measuring water clarity. At the second station, we tried to identify freshwater macroinvertebrates to measure biodiversity. And at the third station, we practiced measuring water conductivity.
The workshop terminated at 4.30pm with a delighted audience.