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Pristine waters a must


Tony Kennedy

A teacher with a passion in getting our younger generation involved in looking after the environment, getting to know other people by learning languages, and getting outdoors.

After arriving at the Alps Bush Blitz base camp, unpacking, having dinner, then being introduced to everyone, we headed out west of Jindabyne to where the road crosses the Thredbo River. Here we met Dr Richard Marchant and Dr Julian Finn.

Dr Marchant is a stream ecologist with greatest interest in the ecology of benthic invertebrates, particularly aquatic insects. He has studied streams and rivers in many parts of Victoria, and southern NSW.

Dr Finn has 20 years experience in marine invertebrate research and he is involved in diverse projects revealing and promoting Victoria’s unique marine environment.

At the Thredbo River, we watched Dr Marchant get into his waders and sample the river for invertebrates. Several were found in the water in and around the rocks at the base of the riverbed. It then began raining. We went for a short walk to see the device that Dr Finn had developed to survey the adult form of these invertebrates, which are a small flying insect. The device that Dr Finn uses is a grey background on which ultraviolet (UV) light is shone. Once insects land on the grey surfaces, he photographs them to determine their identity.

This research is of vital importance as the presence of the invertebrates and their adult counterparts shows that the water is pristine, or very clean. Dr Marchant and Dr Finn are from the Museum of Victoria, other groups doing water sampling are 'Water Watch' and this is something that can be demonstrated to school children and then the children can monitor water quality.

r Marchant and Dr Finn are from the Museum of Victoria