Landcare goes scientific

Landcare and StreamWatch monitoring water quality on wetlands in the Hawkesbury

Landcare goes scientific

Landcare and StreamWatch monitoring water quality on wetlands in the Hawkesbury

Stronger Together -


The issue

Freshwater Wetlands in the Hawkesbury are being treated like dams, mostly because people are unaware of their significance. In the last 12 months there was great community concern about one wetland in particular, Bushells Lagoon. Bushells Lagoon, in Feb 2018 was drained of all its water which resulted in mass fish kills. Additionally, illegal earthworks were carried out on Bushells in May 2018. A lack of awareness and perceived value of these Endangered Ecological Communities was now an obvious and dire problem. To make matters worse, no one Government Authority claimed responsibility in the rectification of these destructive acts.

The solution

Landcare was testing on two sites at Bushells monthly with one landholder who lived on part of Lagoon. This was, luckily occurring before the major illegal works began in early 2018. As a result data on the water quality was already known, as was the existence of a Landcare StreamWatch group. As a local community group the consequence of this was that Bushells Lagoon Landcare StreamWatch group had an informed say to the local press about these concerns. More people started to join the group, including a Western Sydney University lecturer, with highly technical and expensive equipment!

The impact

The immediate impact of this partnership with Landcare carrying out StreamWatch activities was the scientific data collected, providing the community with a greater knowledge of the Lagoon and its functions. After the fish kills, the Local Landcare Coordinator was on Channel 7 news with a VOICE because of this knowledge. Since then, three grant applications have been submitted, to partway restore the lagoon and, for the awareness raising of its neighbours. Additionally, a Wetlands Working Group has formed with the local council and now the Bushells Lagoon Landcare StreamWatch Group is a key player on it.

Key facts

  • Landcare can include a scientific component to its activities
  • Partnerships bring skills and tools together for the better
  • Wetlands in the Hawkesbury are important
  • Small groups matter and can contribute to the larger

Project Partners