Two workshops next week will give members of the TweedShire community the opportunity to play a valuable role in collecting environmental monitoring data.

Tweed Shire Council is joining other NSW coastal communities in a Seagrass Monitoring Project co-ordinated by Community Environment Network Inc by setting up sites that will need monitoring four times per year.

“Seagrass beds provide shelter for a variety of fauna and are critical for the juvenile stages of many commercially important fish,” the council said.

“The presence of seagrass improves water quality and converts nutrients and heavy metals into harmless organic matter.”

The Community Seagrass Monitoring Project is a community-based environmental education and monitoring program with a focus on near-shore seagrass beds across coastal NSW.

Tweed Shire Council is looking for people interested in setting up monitoring groups in their area.

“Monitoring water quality also gives us a picture of catchment health and can assist with the maintenance and rehabilitation of our waterways and catchments,” the council said.

“Community and neighbourhood groups across Australia are monitoring their local waterways through a program called Waterwatch.”

The Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority co-ordinates Waterwatch in the Tweed and Tweed Shire Council staff are assisting groups and schools to set up and monitor Waterwatch sites around the Shire.

Tweed Shire Council will be facilitating the following workshops to provide information and training for volunteers who think they can commit to contributing to one or both of these projects:

Seagrass Monitoring Workshop
Monday 9 March
10am to 4.30pm, lunch provided
Tweed Heads

Waterwatch Workshop
Saturday 14 March
2pm to 4pm
Hastings Point

Exact site locations will be advised on registration. Spaces are limited. To register or for further information on either of the above workshops, contact Community Support Officer, Sally Jacka, Natural Resource Management at Tweed Shire Council on ph. (02) 6670 2561 or email: sjacka@tweed.nsw.gov.au