Bringing back the Bruns

Shearwater Year 11 and 12 Marine Studies students, along with selected Year 8 students, were thrilled to have made a positive impact on the Brunswick Heads river system, as part of an exciting citizen science initiative at the end of last term — a day filled with hands-on scientific exploration and environmental stewardship. The initiative was inspired by some of the Year 8 cohort, who wanted to play more of a role in looking after the Brunswick River.

The adventure began with students kayaking into Simpson’s Creek with Lauren Morgan from Positive Change for Marine Life, an organisation dedicated to fostering positive change in our oceans and coastal ecosystems.

During the expedition, students documented water quality and the health of the river’s mangroves. They used quadrants and transect tapes to measure and record various ecological parameters and observe the diverse ecosystems within the river, including mangrove mollusks, estuarine bugs, and water turbidity. As they explored the river’s intricate web of life, the students had firsthand experience of the critical roles that mangroves and seagrass play in maintaining the health and balance of our coastal environments.

This collaborative effort between Shearwater students and Positive Change for Marine Life exemplified the power of education, hands-on learning, and community engagement in environmental conservation. It served as an inspiring example of how young people can actively participate in safeguarding our precious natural resources. The students went on to share their experiences at the Independent Schools Symposium held at Shearwater the following week and hope to make meaningful contributions to this work on an ongoing basis.

Sarah Ndiaye