Merri Creek Management Committee

ZarasGroupCleanUpMay2021MCMC supports many litter clean-ups undertaken by community volunteers. We give our thanks to Zara Hakam who organised a litter clean-up in East Brunswick for a university assignment and wrote about her experience, explaining how it relates to broader ecological issues. 

Of the 13kg of litter Zara and her six friends collected in one hour along Merri Creek in May 2021, over 97% was plastic. Most were single use items such as disposable face masks (9), plastic bottles (18) and plastic straws (35). Zara calculated that if these levels of litter were found along the entire 60-kilometre length of the creek, the Merri would hold approximately 2.5 million individual pieces of plastic!

MCMC supported Zara's clean-up efforts with advice and equipment.

Photo: Zara, 2nd from left, and friends sorting Merri Creek litter

To read Zara's report, follow the read more prompt.

Strettle wetland 11 4 21After a busy start to the year and the ups and downs of numerous lockdowns, MCMC is celebrating two recent successful grant applications, both focused on waterway restoration:

-$21,030 from Melbourne Water’s Corridors of Green program for the project, 'High Density Living: Improving Habitat Structure for Rare Merri Birds,' which aims to extend dense shrub habitat for rarely seen Pink Robins and Rose Robins, along Merri Creek in Thornbury, between Normanby Avenue and the Harding St bridge, where they've lately been seen.

- $21,687 from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Port Phillip Bay Fund for the project, 'Building up the banks of Brunswick,' which aims to repair riparian vegetation in Brunswick East, damaged by heavy use during recent lockdowns, as well as improve streambank stability and provide training to increase awareness of stream health.

Stay tuned to our event calendar for ways in which you can be involved in these projects.

Growling Grass Frog metamorph by G HeardMerri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) has successfully applied to use the residual funds in the Growling Grass Frog (GGF) Trust. MCMC’s project will develop a masterplan to guide better planning and habitat outcomes for Growling Grass Frogs in the lowest part of the Merri Creek corridor where these endangered fogs are known to occur. We'll be scoping the area from Moomba Park, Fawkner, northwards to Cooper St, Somerton.

Smoking ceremony at Mt William quarryOn 2 February, MCMC's Angela Foley gave the presentation: Pitching in: Working with the recent ‘experimental archaeology’ of Wurundjeri Country, at La Trobe University’s Victorian Archaeology Colloquium 2021. The presentation considered appropriate ways for non-Indigenous people to ‘pitch in’ and work together to acknowledge Country.

MCMC participated in the colloquium with formally agreed support from seven Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elders. The formal requirement was triggered by the presentation’s reference to the article: The Koorong Project: Experimental archaeology and Wurundjeri continuation of cultural practices.

Oak Park Green Team water testing sessionApril2021Students from Oak Park Primary School’s Green Team made some interesting discoveries about the water quality of Moonee Ponds Creek.
Every Wednesday at lunchtime over four weeks, about 10-15 students from Year 3-6 met with MCMC Waterwatch Coordinator, Julia Cirillo, to undertake water quality tests at Moonee Ponds Creek.

The students, along with Sustainability Teacher John Hughes, collected water samples from the creek to test temperature, pH, salinity, phosphate (nutrients) and turbidity (water clarity). They discovered that the creek water quality can change drastically after rainfall. In one week, when over 16mm of rain fell within 24 hours before testing, turbidity increased dramatically from 9 (excellent) to 21 (poor) and nutrients also increased. This indicated that the rain took large amounts of soil and other organic matter (eg dust, leaves, detergent) into the creek via stormwater drains.