The Anglesea River EstuaryWatchers are a group of citizen scientists working with coordinators from the Corangamite CMA collecting images, water quality data and recording observations on the condition of the Anglesea River.
Citizen science can be defined as projects that involve non-professionals taking part in crowdsourcing, data analysis or data collection. This 2013 article on The Conversation website gives some great info on citizen science in general.
A recent highlight for the Anglesea River EstuaryWatch group has been seeing their data used for the Anglesea Futures Program. Anglesea Futures Community Conversation meetings are a forum for community discussion and feedback after the closure of the ALCOA power station and coal mine in August 2015. The Anglesea River EstuaryWatch group’s historical water level and water quality data has been a key piece of information for community and government agencies at these meetings.
Dick from the Anglesea River EstuaryWatch team attended a number of the Anglesea Futures Community Conversation meetings. Dick said “It was great to hear that all the work put in by previous EstuaryWatchers has been proven useful, it is obviously even more important to continue collecting good data now.”
Tom, the Estuary Planning Coordinator at the Corangamite CMA, said that “The research and reports that have been developed through the Anglesea Futures project could not have been done to the level they were without EstuaryWatch and its long term datasets for the Anglesea River. The quality data collected by the program has informed the research and helped provide a high level of confidence in the reports that will guide future management of the estuary.”
All information EstuaryWatch volunteers collect is available to the public at www.estuarywatch.org.au.