Wetlands Day 2 February

 World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally each year on 2 February. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971.

World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997. Since then government agencies, non-government organisations and community groups have celebrated World Wetlands Day by undertaking actions to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits and promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands.  For more see Department of Environment

W8. long-necked tortoiseW5.royal spoonbill

 

Drains are for Rain

The Leader 20 Jan 2016 Its clear drains are for rain so butt out
Oatley Flora and Fauna Conservation Society  is painting messages on drains in the Penshurst, Mortdale and Oatley area to remind people of what drains are for and what their misuse can do to wetlands and river systems. Their current target is the drain system that flows into the Lime Kiln Bay wetland.
 
Leader published the photos and LKB/ drain stencilling story in Wed 20 January 2016 edition..
It is on-line on The Leader website.  There is room on the website version for the public to make comments.

Perils of Plastic- Prof Banati visits Myles Dunphy Reserve

IMG_1674Our Stream Watch group were fortunate to have a on site visit from Professor Banati Leader of the ANSTO Plastics project.
The increased presence of certain degradable plastics, including biodegradable plastics, is a challenge for the recycling of plastics more generally since the various plastics can be difficult to sort. Contamination of the waste stream with similar appearing but non-recyclable material by many seen as the Achilles heel of recycling.  A significant portion of plastic waste ends up in our oceans.
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Professor Banati said the team’s observations were changing perceptions about how the increased degradability of a material, such as plastic, may help to reduce the litter problem but, if not properly managed, might cause a contamination problem in the future.
Recent research shows that this is problematic due to the chemicals contained within plastics, as well as the pollutants that plastic attract once they are in the marine environment. For more see Guardian Dec 2014


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 ANSTO contributes to this collaborative research effort by using nuclear technologies to measure minute quantities of material such as the contaminants potentially leaching or being absorbed by degrading plastic material. ANSTO has national and international collaborations current work is being undertaken with Monash University, UTAS and CSIRO.



IMG_1676Other Research

In a new study, published Dec 2014 by the journal Royal Society Open Science, a British scientist reports the riddle of the “missing” plastic as solved: It sits in deep waters, broken down into tiny fibers and embedded in the sediment of the most remote places on Earth.

The discovery of microplastic in such remote marine habitats raises new questions about the potential for plastic debris to contaminate the food chain. Scientists have already documented that fish, birds, turtles, and other marine animals eat plastic. Thompson and his team found an even greater accumulation of plastic than previously suspected. The more plastic there is, he says, the more potential for toxicity to marine life.

Read more on the National Geographic article – Where has all the (Sea Trash) Plastic Gone

Mark Coure MP launches “Drains are Just for Rain”

Mark Coure 25 Nov (2)On 25 November, Mark Coure MP launched OFF storm water drain stencil project. The society plans to stencil 120 signs to raise awareness in the local community of potential environmental impacts on the Lime Kiln Bay wetland from urban activities. What goes down the drain ends up in the wetland and then into the Georges River.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE PROJECT

 

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Lime Kiln Bay Wetland Guided Walks

W8. long-necked tortoiseOFF is conducting free guided walks around the Wetland to show interested people how the wetlands improve the quality of storm water runoff and the abundant native plants and wildlife that the wetland supports.

  • Tuesday 8 December 10am – 12 noon
  • Saturday 12 December 3pm – 5pm

Meet at the corner of Waterfall Rd and Acacia St Oatley.

Lime Kiln Bay Brochure CoverThe walks are part of  a  project undertaken by the society to raise awareness in the local community of potential environmental impacts on the wetland from urban activities. What goes down the drain ends up in the wetland and then into the Georges River.

The project is being funded from the NSW Minister for the Environment’s Conservation Fund. It will benefit the local community and Council by improving the long-term health of local waterways and reducing maintenance costs of Council’s drainage infrastructure.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE PROJECT

 

Drains are Just for Rain

IMG_1449IMG_1428Look out for messages being painted on drains in the Penshurst /Mortdale /Oatley area in coming months.

 






DRAINS ARE JUST FOR RAIN” is the slogan of Oatley Flora and Fauna Conservation Society (OFF) ‘Lime Kiln Bay Wetland Awareness’ project.

OFF is proceeding with the project having received support and approval from Hurstville City Council for stencilling of drains that flow into Lime Kiln Bay Wetland.

IMG_1421The aim of the project is to raise awareness in the local community of potential environmental impacts on the wetland from urban activities. What goes down the drain ends up in the wetland and then into the Georges River.

IMG_1420OFF is also conducting free guided walks around the Wetland to show interested people how the wetlands improve the quality of stormwater runoff and the abundant native plants and wildlife that the wetland supports. The first two walks are scheduled for Tuesday 8 December 10am – 12 noon and Saturday 12 December 3pm – 5pm starting from the corner of Waterfall Rd and Acacia St Oatley.

The project is being funded from the NSW Minister for the Environment’s Conservation Fund. It will benefit the local community and Council by improving the long-term health of local waterways and reducing maintenance costs of Council’s drainage infrastructure.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE PROJECT

 

 

 

Coal Mining & Water Pollution

River bed crackingAt the October meeting of Oatley Flora and Fauna Conservation Society, Dr Ian Wright from the University of Western Sydney (UWS) presented startling evidence of environmental damage caused by coal mining in the Sydney Region. Dr Wright worked as a scientific officer with Sydney Water investigating the impact of human activities on creeks and rivers in the Sydney basin before taking up a research fellowship at UWS in freshwater ecology and water pollution.

Ian is now a full-time lecturer teaching students in water quality and management, environmental planning and environmental regulation areas. Conducting his research on a limited budget and often faced with a hostile reception from mining interests in the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands, Dr Wright and his students have persevered, comparing water samples taken upstream of mining activity with those down stream. They have found significant deterioration in water quality attributable to waste water discharge from mining operations. Toxic levels of salt, bicarbonate, zinc, nickel and other minerals have impacted on aquatic life and degraded the waters flowing through prized wilderness areas and World Heritage sites. yshattered_river_bed

Long-wall mining, in particular, is responsible for subsidence in the bedrock of some creeks and streams feeding into Sydney’s water catchments. Dr Wright showed photographic evidence of streams simply disappearing into cracks, only to re-emerge further ‘downstream’ polluted by mining waste. Dr Wright was critical of the Environmental Protection Agency, responsible for regulating the discharge of wastewater from mines. Pollution licence conditions need to be tightened requiring mining companies to meet higher standards, although he conceded the regulator had lifted its game recently but only under pressure from the community and, in turn, government.

Asked how Oatley Flora & Fauna Conservation Society members could help to stop mining companies from causing environmental damage, Dr Wright suggested the best way would be to keep the pressure on our politicians to introduce more stringent rules on mining activities. Dr Wright gave an undertaking to keep the Society informed of future developments in the regulation of the coal industry.

Ian Wright-OFF-presentation-Short-8-nov-2015

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Impact of a coal mine waste discharge on water quality and aquatic ecosystems in the Blue Mountains World Heritage area.

FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE DR WRIGHT’S PUBLICATIONS CLICK HERE FOR MORE ABOUT UPLAND SWAMPS

15 NOVEMBER 2015 – LEADER ARTICLE “Coal Mining Risk revealed at Conservation Society meeting”

River Health Monitoring on Georges River

The Myles Dunphy Streamwatch group once again participated in River Health Monitoring by GRCC (Georges River Combined Council) for the Spring season. Our results for Myles Dunphy and Dairy Creek were similar to previous years. For more see River Health Report Cards

Macro Invertebrate ResultsIMG_1357

      The day at Dharawal started very foggy and a light drizzle as we tested the Iluka site in the upland swamp. It cleared up as we moved further away from the coast. We welcomed our new coordinator to Dharawal, He is passionate about his bugs and put on his waders at Cobong Creek.

IMG_1360IMG_1353CLICK HERE TO SEE GALLERY

Sydney Rivers in Pictures and Poetry

Baths and wharf 19 JulySydney has a significant number of rivers and their tributaries which touch the lives of the majority of Sydneysiders.  An e-book captures some of the unique qualities of these ecosystems and the people who live near them. Guide to Sydney Rivers has extraordinary photographs and poems celebrating our rivers.
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LONGWALL by DAEL ALLISON

Longwall: somewhere south of sydney
an unremarkable stream is made remarkable

by its vanished water.
wander your mind on a river, how it refracts

a skipping stone, disappears quicksilver
from your hand, envelops

your plummeting body.
waratah rivulet wrote water’s history in rapid

calligraphic scrawl
mirrored cloud-blow, kingfisher

impetus. it fed the woronora—damnedIMG_6823
for the shire.

now the quick, gleaming bed
is fissured, cracked wide open. dry rust

and ochre. hard landing.
machines craze the subterranean certainties

of rock.
longwalls 20 and 21 of peabody’s mine

chisel ancient strata with new calligraphies.
a shattering they’ll patch

uselessly with polyurethane.
in black flooding tunnels

mudeyes and caddisflies scratch the solid
meniscus, tap vainly

for light. men crack rocks for coalyshattered_river_bed
and rivers shudder.

throw a stone into water, hear only
clatter.

in sydney’s southern catchment lands
an unremarkable stream

is no longer a stream.

River bed cracking

Oatley Lions Festival – 17th October

IMG_1020OFF ran a stall at the Lions Festival, as it has done for many years. It was a lovely and successful day. Lots of friends and other interesting and interested people dropped in. The highlight of the day was the interactive model of the water catchment loaned from the Australian Museum. IMG_1021

The majority of humans live near some form of freshwater environment. These biologically rich freshwater ecosystems play a vital role in human life as sources of water, food and recreation. The model provides information on the importance of water, catchment management and global water issue.

This tied in well with our project to raise community awareness of Lime Kiln Bay wetland and changing behavior to reduce detrimental environmental impacts. rain is for drainOur demonstrators wore T shirts designed by committee member Shaun Keays-Byrne with the Logo “DRAINS ARE JUST FOR RAIN”

The Catchments: Water for Living Box is a resource for high schools and focuses on science and geography. The model was developed in partnership Sydney Water.

Catchment model