Citizen science on tap

THE SPRINGCARE PROJECT: Manages the quality of groundwater flowing through karst rising springs throughout the south of the Limestone Coast. Picture: CLAIRE HARDING.

A PROGRAM monitoring groundwater in fragile ecosystems around Port MacDonnell is among the recipients of the 2021/22 Limestone Coast Landscape Board’s Grassroots Grants program.

The Springcare project manages the quality of groundwater flowing through karst rising springs in the south of the Limestone Coast.

Port MacDonnell Landcare representative Peter Feast said the funding would be used to expand the group’s ability to test and analyse the groundwater in ways currently not possible.

“The Grassroots Grant funding has made it possible for us to analyse the nutrients and other chemicals present in the groundwater that we just can’t see,” he said.

“It’s important to be watchful for rising levels of potentially harmful elements to help conserve and protect these fragile ecosystems.

“The group is grateful to the Limestone Coast Landscape Board for providing the funding for this valuable citizen science project.”

Limestone Coast Landscape Board chair Penny Schulz said the funded projects would make an impact on some challenging environmental issues across the region.

“We were excited to see a diverse range of applications submitted for the 2021/22 round of grants that support (the Landscape Board’s) priorities, such as working collaboratively to manage our pest plants and animals, growing sustainable primary production, and protecting and balancing our region’s water resources,” she said.

Environment and Water Minister David Speirs said the Grassroots Grants program was aimed at local projects that contribute to improved management of the environment.

“It’s all about a back-to-basics approach and giving local communities a greater say in how we manage our natural environment.

Overall, there were 11 projects selected for this year’s round of grant funding.

“The projects cover topics that community organisations have identified as important pieces of work and we believe are very deserving of levy funding,” Ms Schulz said.