Remotely Monitored Litter | Geelong Independent

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The health of the Barwon River waterways will be monitored through an innovative citizen science project that tracks litter before it enters the bay.

Water Minister Harriet Shing joined scientists from the Aquatic Environmental Stress Research Group to launch GPS-enabled litter trackers into the Barwon River to simulate litter dumped into the catchment areas.

The state government has invested $29,790 in the Litter Trackers project through the Coastcare grant program. The project has been led by researchers from RMIT University who will work with school and community groups to release and track litter installed on GPS devices in the Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast waterways.

Litter, especially plastic, can be found in all environments on earth, including some of Geelong’s important waterways such as the Barwon River and the internationally Ramsar listed Lake Connewarre.

The project aims to reduce litter that ends up on the coast by educating local communities about the environmental cost of litter in our waterways.

The project raises awareness of the waste problem and empowers individuals with the knowledge to make more sustainable decisions to drive change.

Local schools in Geelong involved in the initiative include Geelong High School and Northern Bay College, St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre, St Terese Catholic Primary School and North Geelong Secondary College.

The Litter Trackers: Burbs to the Bay project is a collaborative citizen science project between RMIT University, the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and the Bellarine Catchment Network.

“Waste dumped on our streets is washed into stormwater systems where it eventually ends up on our beaches, but this project will gather important information to help solve the problem and protect our waterways,” said the Minister Shing.

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