Streamwatch is a long running water monitoring program run in partnership by Sydney Water and the Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA). It supports local communities and schools across Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Illawarra and Southern Highland regions. Streamwatch groups investigate and take action on water quality and catchment and ecosystem health.

Streamwatch began in 1990. There are now over 250 community, school and other groups that monitor water quality and macroinvertebrates (water bugs) across more than 600 sites.

Streamwatch & Your School
[extract from website]

Streamwatch can be integrated across many key learning areas in the school curriculum, helping schools achieve syllabus outcomes and meet requirements of the NSW Environmental Education Policy for Schools. Streamwatch can also be run as an extra-curricula program.

Participating schools use Streamwatch kits that contain equipment to conduct a range of water quality tests including temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, available phosphate, dissolved oxygen and faecal coliforms. Macroinvertebrate (water bug) surveys can also be done through Streamwatch.

If your school is located near a waterway that you would like to monitor, go to the website where you will see links to contact Streamwatch.

My Two Cents
This is a great one for schools who are located close to the beach or a river system. I've worked with groups of primary and secondary students in Streamwatch activities so have been able to witness the two-pronged benefits first hand. For the primary schoolers - it's a great ongoing activity, a chance to both play and learn. They especially love using the dip nets to fish for macroinvertebrates to check the health of the river. For the secondary students, again, there's the chance to put practical knowledge from the classroom to real use (not to mention the chance to play with chemicals, which the boys seem to love). Hands on activities always enhance the learning experience. Councils actually collect and use data from schools' Streamwatch activities. You can imagine students would have a real sense of pride in their input.

Visit the Streamwatch website to enquire about Streamwatch for your school

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