STEM Waterways: Citizen Science Project
Holloways Beach Environmental Education Centre (HBEEC) has been pursuing its vision of “Creating World Citizens for a Sustainable Future” since 1991. The centre has a strong focus on waterways, in particular mangrove systems, the factors that influence them and the communities which call them home. Since its foundation, HBEEC has been conducting a variety of waterways related work including water testing, monitoring species within the area and teaching and supporting programs that encourage students to both understand and protect our waterways.
In recent years, a number of factors have caused HBEEC to have serious concern over the future of our waterways and the organisms which rely on them. Not only have we seen substantial decline in species such as Scylla serrata (mud crabs) but we have become more aware of factors such as pollution and water quality. In addition to this, severe mangrove dieback in the Gulf of Carpentaria has served as a wake up call for communities. There is a clear need to better understand mangrove environments so as to prevent further loss of an ecosystem that not only serves as the first line of defence against coastal erosion, wave action and tidal surges, but is integral to the survival of neighbouring ecosystems such as reefs and rainforests.
The STEM Waterways Citizen Science Project is designed to enable school teams to learn to: study aspects of waterways in depth, identify areas of scientific importance and interest, engage in good STEM practices and gain access to technologies and experts in order to create viable data and information that is a valuable contribution to local, and potentially global knowledge on these essential systems.
Project brochure: STEM Waterways Citizen Science Project brochure