Sincere thanks to the 71 generous donors to our 2018 Appeal to create more habitat for birds along Merri Creek. A total of $12,974 in donations was made to MCMC's Merri Creek Environment Fund. We look forward to letting you know about the creation of bird habitat in a future Merri e-News. If you want to know more about the Fund, check out the web page.
There's been a fantastic response to an initiative by Friends of Merri Creek member Anne Frost for a new group of volunteers to gather monthly on a Wednesday morning to help care for Merri Creek. The group has already held two very successful sessions, working closely with Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) staff on priority activities. 18 volunteers defied a frosty morning on 29 August to help plant native shrubs and do a huge amount of weeding at Blyth St Brunswick East near CERES (see photo). The volunteers did a terrific job in learning to distinguish weeds from native grasses.
Then at their second meeting on 26 September, 10 adults and 2 sharp-eyed school kids searched for and removed 50 invasive South African Weed Orchids at the Ngarri-djarrang Grassland in Reservoir. Afterwards the group enjoyed a tour guided by MCMC (none of them had been to the grassland before).
Australia’s gum trees can guide student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking entry for STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) as well as Law and Language. A three minute video - Gum tree learning: Inspiring primary educators to teach with Australian eucalypts produced by Merri Creek Management Committee provides teacher support for the cross-cultural curriculum priority (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures). Use it in the classroom and pause to focus on different elements.
In May we reported on a major turbidity event in Merri Creek in our Muddy Merri Troubles article. The intense yellow colour of Merri Creek generated high levels of community concern. A month later, in mid-June, the same thing happened again. This time we decided to measure the actual turbidity levels of Merri Creek in Brunswick East and to take photos of the creek. You can read the detailed results of our investigation below or download the full report as a pdf.
In brief we found: (1) At its peak the turbidity was 500 NTU. This is higher than any other level recorded in the lower reaches of Merri Creek over the last 18 years. (2) It took 15 days of steady decline for the turbidity to drop to an acceptable level of less than 20 NTU. (3) Visually, Merri Creek was perceived as 'very muddy' for 14 days.
A dramatic change in the colour of Merri Creek - from its usual darkish hue to a worrying, pale-yellow - had concerned locals contacting MCMC, posting on Facebook and reporting the issue to the EPA. The spate of yellow muddiness began after rain in mid-May and continued for more than three weeks, an unprecedented time. 'Old hands' said that the turbidity (sediment load) in Merri Creek was much worse than anything they'd seen in their decades of creek-watching. What caused this massive pollution event? Was it 'natural', or the result of disturbance from urban development activity?
Photo above: Merri Creek at Blyth St, Brunswick East, 15 May 2018
The MCMC Waterwatch program, funded by Melbourne Water and Darebin, Moreland, Whittlesea and Yarra Councils, supported volunteer monitoring of waterway health at 13 sites across the Merri, Moonee Ponds and Darebin Creek catchments, and the lower Yarra. Our Waterwatch Report summarises the key findings of the Waterwatch volunteers’ hard work collecting monthly water quality results.
|20 Jan 2019;|
10:00AM - 11:30AM
Waterwatch new recruits sampling day
|23 Jan 2019;|
05:30PM - 07:00PM
Discovering the wildlife of Edgars Creek
|24 Jan 2019;|
06:30PM - 07:30PM
What frogs live in Yarra?
|30 Jan 2019;|
05:30PM - 07:00PM
Our home, our nearby nature around Edgars Creek in Epping event
|31 Jan 2019;|
06:00PM - 07:30PM
World Wetlands Day Walk and Talk in Darebin
|03 Feb 2019;|
10:00AM - 12:00PM
Litter Clean Up – Nth Fitzroy - Friends of Merri Creek