18 Feb CITIZEN SCIENCE TO HELP WITH HARBOUR WATCH
Citizen science occurs when ordinary people help conduct real scientific research. If this is something you have always wanted to do, but didn’t know how you could help, Curtis Harbour Watch has a guide to make things a whole lot easier. The Citizen Science project aims to educate and provide the opportunity for the local community to scientifically monitor water quality in their own waterways and publish their findings in global and local databases.
Early last year, Harbour Watch released the MyWater Community Portal which allows citizens to upload water quality data to receive an A to E rating for the health of monitored waterway. The portal also provides the previous data of each monitored waterway and is freely accessible to all. “Gladstone Harbour is one of Australia’s most monitored waterway however most of the water quality data is not publicly available.,” says Project Officer, Somone Boston. “By educating and providing opportunities for local citizens to become involved in monitoring water quality, people will become better informed on the health of their own waterways and harbour,” she says.
The ‘Field Guide Booklet’ has been released for the local Citizen Science Water Quality Project. The booklet provides information regarding the measured water quality parameters; details on how to use scientific equipment to monitor water quality and how-to upload data to the MyWater Portal to obtain an instantaneous water quality rating. The booklet enables everyone to become a ‘citizen scientist’ and become involved in regular water quality monitoring of Gladstone Harbour and catchment waterways. “If we have more citizen scientists independently collecting water quality data, we will have a more comprehensive profile of our harbour and catchment waterways which will result in a better understanding for all in the management of our harbour,” Somone continued. “This waterproof booklet allows participants to have a comprehensive resource on hand while monitoring, ensuring scientific methods and interpretation can be independently made by all.”
Harbour Watch has been able to develop the Harbour Watch Citizen Science Water Quality Project due to the support received from Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership (GHHP) and Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA)