Charity Thames21 is continuing with its mission to improve the health of London’s waterways and reconnect Londoners with the Thames, with the launch of its new Thames River Watch project.
Many Londoners do not have a relationship with the River Thames beyond passing over or under it every so often. After all, it’s just a dead, dirty river, isn’t it? Not true. While getting a complete picture of the Thames’ health isn’t easy, we do know that it has improved greatly over the past 60 years and now supports many species of fish (apparently, its brown colour comes mostly from tidal currents stirring up mud, silt and sand from the riverbed).
Thames21 wants to dispel this ‘dirty river’ myth and obtain a more complete view of the state of the river by engaging volunteers right at the water’s edge. So, what can you do to help?
Individuals, groups, schools and businesses can sign up and get stuck in by undertaking surveys directly at the riverside, focusing on:
- Water quality (turpidity, pH balance, temperature)
- Invasive non-native species
- Litter monitoring
It’s all very simple, quick and a lovely way to connect with London’s lifeblood. Just let Thames21 know where you are based and what you can commit to (it's only asking for around one hour every month) — you'll be provided with the necessary training and tools at one of the upcoming training sessions.
The project also provides valuable data to help pinpoint issues that need to be addressed. Volunteers can log their findings online and, in a couple of months, members of the public will be able to access the data too.
Interested? The project stretches from Teddington out to Haven Point, Essex and Warden Point, Isle of Sheppey, so if you’re nearby and think you can offer any amount of your time to the project then please register online. Thames21 would love to have you on board.
Thames 21’s Thames River Watch project is funded by the Thames Tideway Tunnel for three years. To find out more visit the Thames21 website, visit them on Twitter @thames21, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.