NZ’s Environmental Protection Authority is offering up to 1,000 science kits to groups that want to monitor water quality in their local waterways.
According to the EPA release: “By sampling just a litre of water, groups capture remnants of DNA shed by creatures in the waterway. The eDNA test result reveals all the species present. This can indicate the overall health of the ecosystem and draw attention to creatures that need to be protected, and those that are a threat.”
Says an EPA programme manager: “The programme supports collaborative environmental protection at the flax roots of Aotearoa. eDNA testing can help people to see the environment through a new lens and get first-hand experience of how science can inform our understanding of waterway health. Participants are then empowered to use their data and learnings to advocate for their own local environment.”
Watch out Hawke’s Bay polluters! There could soon be more local groups – stream restoration committees, catchment groups, hapū, schools – patrolling our waterways, with the additional benefit of keeping the Regional Council’s feet to the fire!
Registrations for the next round of sampling will be open until 22 March. Here’s where to register.
C’mon HB environmentalists! Get your feet wet … here’s a simple boots-in way to learn about local quality water and arm yourselves with ‘hard data’ to advocate if improvement is required.