Sunday, 28 June 2015

healthy waterways report oscar

We have different water bodies in Christchurch, some are man made and some are natural.  and some are  connected like the springs and aquifers because the water comes down from the clouds which is rain and then soaks into the mountains and slides down into the aquifers.  That is good because that water has been going through stones for about 35 or 100 years and did you know that when the water goes throw stones it clears out all the bad stuff?  Then the aquifers push the water out into a thing called springs -when it hits a wall of clay,  it rises up. But if it was dirt the water would go through it, it bursts out of the ground, overflows and goes into the rivers.

In the ecosystem there is lots of creatures and habitats which rely on each other because the creatures need the plants to eat on live on and breed on like the submerged plants that provide food for the paradise duck and the paradise duck is also connected to vegetation because it  provides shelter for it. The mayfly larvae is also connected to the submerged plants because it likes to hide under it so that  the other fish don't eat him, also like the paradise duck.

What makes a healthy river and unhealthy river
There are lots of indicators of a healthy waterway. One of them is that counting how many macroinvertebrates there are and how many types of macroinvertebrates. If there were no macroinvertebrates in it except lots of snails and worms that would be an unhealthy ecosystem.  In a healthy we would find lots of different macroinvertebrates like mayfly, stonefly and caddisfly.  

Water temperature also connects to healthy river and unhealthy river because if the water is over than 15 degrees then the invertebrates find it harder to get oxygen.  A healthy temperature would be under 15 degrees, the colder the better.

The algae in an unhealthy river would be thick and growing in long strands.   In a healthy river there would be just a thin coating of algae on stones.

In a healthy river, there would be lots of trees which grow along the river, because the trees roots hold the soil out of the river.   It is important because erosion makes the river dirty and that is a problem for the animals living there.

Testing our streams
Our class has visited some waterways like rivers, creeks, stormwater drains and lakes. We also have been looking at the health of our ecosystem. We did it with special tools like the eye dropper for sucking up the {macroinvertebrates}  bugs with no back bone. Also we used a sieve and trays: the sieve for swooping it in the water and getting lots of river animals like water boatman and backswimmers or larva like the damselfly larvae and the caddis fly larvae.

When we scooped it out, it included lots of plants that look like seaweed but could be algae. We dipped it into the water a few times and into the tray. Then that's when we use the eyedropper or just a spoon and when we catch the invertebrates. We used a magnifying class to see what type they were and we knew  because we had a chart of all the animals in the water. We could see what it has on its body.

We also  tested how clear the water is and we did that with the clarity tube which is basically a tube filled with water and then there's  a black and white disk and can move it from the top so that the disk moves with it. A person looks in it then they keep on moving it farther until the person says they can't see it anymore.  We also used a habitat survey to see if the waterways have good habitats.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

We tested the Styx River and the result was very good. The flow of the river was average because there was not much variety in the stream, but we did see a few riffles. The shade over the river was also good because there were lots  of different types of trees covering the river, and those trees' leaves don't fall into the river.

The edge of the river is very stable because there is lots of tree roots stopping  the soil from eroding.  If you don't know what erosion is then this is how it works. First the dirt or soil goes into the river/stream. Then when the fish come past the soil gets stuck in their gills (which help them breath underwater) and then their gills get blocked up and then they can't breath underwater and die. But if the trees are there the erosion won't happen.

The styx river was also very good because the buffer of the vegetation goes about 3-9 meters back. and there are different types of vegetation which is good because it provides a buffer from activities on the surrounding land.   

The validity this test is affected by the fact that everyone can have a different opinions about what they see.
Suggested changes                          
I propose that we take the following action

1.We can tell you how important it is to clean your car on the lawn because then the soap and chemicals go into the stormwater system and then end up in our river.

2.We can tell you how important it is to pick up your dog's dung because then otherwise the chemicals in the dung gets washed into our rivers.

3.We can tell you how important it is to not litter because litter goes into the stormwater system then ends up in our rivers.

4.We can tell you how important it is to plant trees along the river bank because then it stops erosion from getting in so that the fish don't die.
Why these changes are important

It is important to look after our waterways because if we don't we don't then all the fish will die from the erosion in the river and then we wont have any food to survive with. So that’s why we have to plant trees on the sides of the river so that erosion can't get in. Kaitiakitanga means to protect the land and our waterways. Kaitiakitanga is important to Maori people because they want the people in the future to enjoy the land and waterways too. We are going to help look after our waterways. ️

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