In the middle of Newtown (Geelong) lies a fantastic reserve called Balyang Sanctuary. On a beautiful August day, marine Ambassadors from St Robert's, St Anthony’s, St Margaret’s, St Therese’s, Holy Spirit and Our Lady Star of the Sea gathered for a day all about litter and pollution and how it affects the waterways.
The Ambassadors spent the morning testing water for oxygen, phosphate, nitrite and pH levels and also investigating the range of freshwater invertebrates living in the wetlands. These wetlands are constructed to harvest and filter storm water before it makes its way into the Barwon River and ultimately the sea. In the afternoon, it was hands-on weeding of soursob (oxalis) and identifying native frogs and the amazing number of bird species found at the sanctuary.
A healthy and diverse wetland helps to protect the marine environment from the pollution further up the catchment.
Many thanks to Di Luscombe from City of Greater Geelong, Tony and Jarrah from Buildscape and Kristin and Jess for making the day possible.