Majura Mountain Joey Scouts: Jerrabomberra Creek
Bottle number: 24
About the water
Collected at: Jerrabomberra Creek, Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve, [Kingston], ACT
Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve, Molonglo River, Canberra, ACT. (Also referenced as Jerrabomberra Creek on some maps). Between Kingston and Fyshwick ACT.
Canberra Yellow Pages Map Reference Map 70 C2.
Collected by: Majura Mountain Joey Scouts
For the past two years the Majura Mountain Joey Scouts have been visiting the Jerrabomberra Wetlands. We go to see the birds and to have a enjoyable walk in the nature park. This year we also discussed what a wetland is, how it is important and how we can help to keep it clean and beautiful.
Here are some comments from the boys and girls (Joey Scouts) ages 6 and 7:
From the edge:
- The water looks nice.
- The birds seem to like it.
- Everything is green around it.
- There are a lot of weeds!
When we collected our sample the comments were:
- It is pretty clean.
- It is stinky!
- There are little bugs swimming around in it.
- It is a little bit brown but not too bad.
- I'd drink it ... I wouldn't!
ACT Waterwatch says:
Wetlands are places where water that might have problems is 'fixed.' Plants use nutrients in the water, and mud settles out. Water in wetlands is full of life. Life is messy. Healthy wetland water is often a little brown or slightly green and has a rich but not unpleasant smell.
The red floating masses in the picture look like azolla, a native plant. Like us, when it is exposed to too much sunlight it goes red. Azolla is an important part of a well functioning wetland ecosystem, adding oxygen to the water and acting as a living pool cover which lessens evaporation.
About the site
This description has been provided by one of the parents of a Joey Scout, Dr Siwan Lovett (Lovett Clarke Consulting Pty Ltd & Australian River Restoration Centre). Siwan came with us on the night to facilitate a great session on the importance of wetlands.
This area has been protected as a Ramsar wetland of international significance for migratory waterbirds – JAMBA (Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement) and CAMBA (China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement) agreements are also in place for the site. It is a well vegetated site with thick reeds along the edge of the water buffering sediment and nutrient from entering the wet areas. A mix of native trees and shrubs have been planted along the wetland edges providing further buffering, bird and terrestrial animal habitat. There are formed paths around the wetland for people to enjoy the area, with bicycle tracks also winding their way through the wetland site. There are some weeds on the site, but these tend to be in areas set back from the wetland itself. There is also unrestricted cattle access at one end of the wetland with stock moving in and out of the water and degrading quality as a result.
What's going on:
This description has been provided by one of the parents of a Joey Scout, Dr Siwan Lovett (Lovett Clarke Consulting Pty Ltd & Australian River Restoration Centre).
A number of different groups use the wetlands, for example bird watchers (hides are provided), recreational walkers and cyclists. It is an important site for the ACT and is valued, however, there are evidence of weeds – both aquatic and terrestrial, and these will need to be controlled. More native planting is required and fences need to be constructed to control stock access. Currently a mix of organisations work in the wetlands including Greening Australia, ornithological groups and various ACT government departments.
We do not do any work, we just go and enjoy the natural surroundings, have fun watching the birds from the hides and learn more about nature.