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.
We often think of using balloons when we mark a special occasion. But if used outdoors, balloons and their ribbons and clips can end up in waterways and oceans, harming birds and other aquatic animals through ingestion and entanglement.
Balloons can be fun. But they don’t belong outside. Merri Creek Management Committee has signed on as an official suppporter of Zoos Victoria's When Balloon's Fly, Seabirds Die campaign. We won't use balloons at any events and we're encouraging others to do the same. You can take the pledge at the Zoos Victoria website.
Has thirty years of restoration of the Merri Creek made a difference? Woodland birds think so! Friends of Merri Creek quarterly birdwatch data give us a wildlife ‘census’ at the Merri Creek woodlands in Fawkner and Reservoir. These woodland have expanded by thirty hectares in thirty years. Up to 33 woodland birds now use the tree canopy, understorey shrubs, native groundcover and sparse leaf-litter strewn ground.
Moreland Council has joined the community in calling for a parcel of VicRoads land by Merri Creek in Fawkner to be retained as public open space. The land is zoned Public Park & Recreation Zone (PPRZ) and is actively used by the community and wildlife. VicRoads has declared the land 'surplus' to its requirements; the majority of the land is headed for a rezoning before it is sold for residential development. Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) is calling on the state government to show leadership to protect the land, a vital part of the Merri Creek corridor.
|20 Nov 2018;|
06:30PM - 10:00PM
Friends of Merri Creek Annual General Meeting
|21 Nov 2018;|
07:00PM - 08:00PM
Discovering the Frogs of Edwardes Lake, Reservoir
|23 Nov 2018;|
10:00AM - 11:00AM
Nature Play at Clifton Hill
|23 Nov 2018;|
07:00PM - 08:00PM
Discover the Frogs of the Merri Edgars wetlands
|24 Nov 2018;|
10:30AM - 01:30PM
Aitken Creek Walk and/or Bike Tour - Friends of Merri Creek & MCMC
|25 Nov 2018;|
08:45AM - 10:30AM
Merri Bird Survey 4 for 2018 (continued) - Friends of Merri Creek