Today was the Cambridge Ely Ouse catchment partnership 2nd Annual conference held at the Maltings in Ely.
It was my great honour to be chosen as one of the guest speakers at this conference, to give a presentation of the delivery of restoration works by our fly fishing club at the River lark in Suffolk. As part of this presentation I was able to speak about the role which citizen science plays in the monitoring of the post restoration works and so explained the water quality testing by FreshWater Watch. In the last few weeks I have managed to create a new group within FreshWater Watch for the CamEO partnership, which has been funded through the partnership and Anglia Water.
In the lunchtime I'd brought in samples of highly turbid water taken from the Lark during a spate and which had a high concentration of suspended solids (which when given a good shake became re-suspended), to be able to demostrate the Secchi tube and how to record turbidity. With some out of date test phials I also explained how to use them to moitor and record the Nitrate (N) and Phosphate (P) levels that were indicated by the change in colour against the test chart.
This was a very successful presentation and I expect a large number of volunteers to result from this across the CamEO catchment.
The conference was attended by several members of the local Environment Agency (EA) for those of you not from Gt Britain this is a governemnt department charged with looking after rivers, water quality and ecology etc. Also present were members of the local water company Anglian Water responsible for the provision of drinking water and for sewage treatment and eventual discharge back to the river in the region, representatives of Rivercare (Keep Britain Tidy), County Council representatives and local Rivers Trusts and a national representative of the Rivers Trusts.
This was a group of very influential people representing government agencies, local government and industry as well as voluntary groups interested in the protection and restoration of rivers and water courses.