Bulimbe Creek

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Citipointe Christian College
Year 9 Science
Term 1, 2010
The Health of The Bulimba Creek
Judy Lee
Mrs. Williams

Introduction
This report will investigate Bulimba Creek to determine the environmental health of this ecosystem. The purpose of this report is to identify degraded conditions of the creek and to make recommendations to improve these conditions. The sources used to inform this report include experimental data and internet research. A creek is defined as a small inlet or bay, narrower and extending further into the land than a cove; a recess in the shore of the sea, or a river.

Bulimba Creek is located in the eastern and south-eastern areas of Brisbane and generally flows northwards into the Brisbane River. Bulimba Creek extends from Sunnybank to the Brisbane river at Hemmant as can be seen in figure 1. In 1865, European settlers extensively farmed the more fertile flats in the catchment area causing damages through bad farming techniques. Also, unlimited fish were caught from the creek. The creek’s catchment area covers122 square kilometers; the second largest in Brisbane. Factors impacting the catchment area are by urban development, tree clearing, land uses and weeds. Infrastructure, services and inappropriate land use; filling and building on flood plains and waterway corridors are also serious problems.

To determine the health of the Bulimba Creek at Mansfield, 3 experiments are performed. These experiments are determined through sampling soil quality, litter density and distribution, and concentration of weed species. Litter is considered by environmentalists to negatively impact on the environment. 18 per cent of litter ends up polluting waterways; presenting a hazard to humans, fauna and flora. It not only encourages pests to spread germs and diseases, but also affects the water quality and the organisms living in them. The pH (potential of Hydrogen) and EC (Electrical Conductivity) can also affect the creek. PH is a measure of the degree of the acidity or the alkalinity of a solution as measured on a pH scale of 0 to 14 where measurements below 7 are increasingly acidic as they approach 0; 7 is neutral; and measurements above 7 are increasingly alkaline as they approach 14. Most of the plants prefer the pH to be between 6.0 to 7.5. If the soil has a pH lower than 6.0, plants cannot take up nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus and if the pH is higher than 7.5, iron, manganese and phosphorus cannot be taken by plants.Soil pH (acidity or alkalinity) are determined by 3 main elements; parent materials, rainfall and fertilizers. EC estimates the amount of total dissolved salts, or ions in the water. The pollutants in the water can be signaled by an increase in EC.

Weeds are also a problem to the creek. A weed is any plant that requires some form of action to reduce its effect in the economy, environment, human health and amenities. Weeds are invasive plants, which displace native species, contribute significantly to land degradation and reduce farm or forest productivity.

Aim
To determine the overall health of the Bulimba Creek and recommend ways to improve the condition of the creek.

Hypothesis
Bulimba Creek is in a poor ecological condition. These conditions need to be addressed urgently to save the ecosystem.

Experiment 1
Aim
To determine the health of the environment at Bulimba Creek by observing the surroundings.

Apparatus
1. Plastic bag to collect letter
2. Latex or silicone gloves
3. Sensible shoes

Method
1. Form a small group
2. Collect as much litter as possible within the time limit given 3. List all types of litter visible e.g. Plastic bags, soft drink cans etc

Risk analysis
Risk| Measure to prevent risk or injury|
* Dirty substances might get under nails or enter breaks in the skin allergic reaction to substances in the litter| * Wear gloves when picking up litter.|

Results
Table1
Quantity of different Types of...
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