It has been a huge year for the Streamwatch Team supporting volunteers and running events across Sydney.

We have had a busy year training up new volunteers and visiting existing groups. The Streamwatch team has also run networking events for all the Streamwatch volunteers so they can meet and share their experiences. In addition we have been attending school and community events around Sydney promoting the importance of our freshwater environments.

We now have 54 groups of 110 volunteers testing water quality at 85 sites across Sydney. This has generated over 550 water quality data sets. We are looking forward to growing this important citizen science program in 2014.

Streamwatch volunteers at Chullora Wetlands on National Threatened Species day 2013
Streamwatch volunteers at Chullora Wetlands on National Threatened Species day 2013 Image: Karen Player
© Australian Museum

In February we participated in the 2 day ALIVE Youth conference hosted by the University of Western Sydney and the Hawkesbury Environment Network. The conference was focused on developing networks, partnerships and relationships between organisation, schools and the community.

We also attended the Connected Waters Symposium at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre in March where we presented on the move of the Streamwatch program to the Australian Museum.

During April we assisted the GRCCC River Health Monitoring Program by attending several of the water monitoring days. These sessions were linked to existing Streamwatch groups and/or sites and help to provide data for the 2012/13 GRCCC River Health Monitoring Program report card.

On World Migratory Bird Day Streamwatch volunteers participated in a wetlands day at Bicentennial Park. We had a talk by Marianne from the Sydney Olympic Park Authority about the amazing rehabilitation of the site and then went on a wetland tour exploring this important habitat for migratory birds..

To recognise Threatened Species day on Saturday 7 September the Streamwatch team in conjunction with Sydney Water organised a tour of Chullora Wetlands. We have also went out to RiverFest and the Threatened Species Wetland day at the Australiana Pioneer Village. RiverFest has an unique focus on environmental sustainability and the celebration of cultural differences. RiverFest raises awareness of the local environment around Campbelltown. It was a great event to be part of and enabled us to promote the importance of our local waterways and the health of the catchment.

Threatened Species Wetland day was another great community event in Wilberforce at the Australiana Pioneer Village. The local community is working hard to restore their local wetlands and these events are a positive tool to engage the wider community in this process.

What can you do to participate in other citizen Science programs?

Citizen Science programs provide a very important source of data about biodiversity. Data and insights gained through the efforts of citizen scientists enable us to learn more about our environments by creating additional data sources.

You can add flora and fauna observations to the Atlas of Living Australia and contribute to this important database.

Local councils have contact information for different environmental groups in your area. We can put you in contact with Streamwatch groups active in Sydney. For other areas of NSW contact your regional coordinator

You can also try the Landcare National directory or Bushcare directory so you can find a groups in your local area.

If you can't find a group to join why not start your own and start exploring your local environment.

The Streamwatch program is supported by Sydney Water