In the face of urban expansion, native wetlands and their ecosystems are under constant threat and need a helping hand to ensure their future sustainability.
On the 10 September, Central environmental students planted 184 native seedlings as part of their ongoing support and monitoring of two local wetlands.
They planted grevillea, woolly bush and one-sided bottlebrushes to aid rehabilitation and restore the wetlands as a pleasant visual feature.
The two wetlands are south of the entry to the Graham Farmer Freeway tunnel and are managed by Main Roads and Lend Lease.
The students have been working with their lecturer Gun Dolva and Shane Collins from Main Roads to monitor and improve the ecological functioning and diversity of the wetlands.
To do this, the students have been monitoring the water quality and the freshwater invertebrates of the wetlands in Semester two, 2014 and 2015.
To aid the rehabilitation of the sites, the students have a contour map of the sites, developed by surveying lecturer Darryl Malacari, a herbarium of all the plants on the sites as well as a growing set of photographs of the sites for longer term monitoring.
The ongoing rehabilitation and monitoring of these two wetlands, by our environmental students will restore the area to a more diverse and better functioning ecosystem.
Last month, eight Environmental Science students from Central, together with their lecturer Gun Dolva, had a unique opportunity to visit Thailand care of the Federal Government’s Vocational Education and Training Outbound Mobility Program (VET Outbound).
The group gained invaluable work experience in the ecology field, while making a real difference towards the conservation of local species.
The VET Outbound Program provides support for VET students to undertake international short-term (less than six months) study experiences that relate to their course.
The students, currently studying a Diploma of Environmental Monitoring and Technology (EMT), were based at Phang Nga and the work undertaken supported ongoing efforts by GVI (Global Vision International) towards conservation of marine and terrestrial habitats and species.
Work ranged from cleaning turtles, scrubbing turtle tanks, applying anti fungal solution, hiking in two national parks to conduct biodiversity surveys, identifying the species found and a collection of over 20 bags of trash from Thai Muang Beach.
“The ecological skills the students had learnt here at Central ended up fitting perfectly into the work they did at Phang Nga. Their ability to work in teams and in the field, which is something we do a lot here at Central, paid off wonderfully”, said EMT lecturer Gun Dolva.
“For me it confirmed that the EMT course and the activities we build into it prepares the students for work not only locally, but internationally as well.”