Students from Bellingen High School and Chrysalis spent the week with local environmental charity OzGREEN on the Bellinger River to investigate the health of the river.
During the five days they focussed on the turtle habitat upstream from Lavenders Bridge and planned on ways they can help bring the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle back from the brink.
1. Conducting a follow up 14 hour monitoring of Dissolved Oxygen (DO) at Lavenders Bridge. (DO levels were very low).
2. Follow up testing of total phosphorous, biochemical oxygen demand and macro-invertebrate studies.
3. Post rain event testing of key sites.
4. Repeating the river health snapshot on a quarterly basis.
Post-investigation, the team wrote a letter to the NSW Minister for Environment Mark Speakman which said: “We would welcome the opportunity for the young people involved to make a presentation to NSW Parliament about the plight of the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle. They will be presenting at the Bellingen Turtlefest next weekend.
“We invite you to like our Facebook Page, Save the Bellinger River Turtle, support our crowdfunding campaign and purchase a Turtles are Keepers cup - the main action plan developed by the young people involved in MYRiveR.”
Details of the Turtles are Keepers cup can be found here.