PhD candidate Stephen Conrad will tell us about his work at Hearnes Lake.
For a bit of background: A team of researchers at SCU was employed by the Coffs council to investigate pollution history in Hearnes Lake, Woolgoolga.
Hearnes Lake is a unique study location because it is an intermittently open-closed lake or lagoon (ICOLL) meaning there can be long periods of deposition in the lake basin between the lake draining. This area is of special concern because the small catchment has a history of intense agricultural use, and when the lake drains, it drains into the adjacent Solitary Islands Marine Park.
As some may know from Shane's talks, the effluent leaving agricultural lands is often enriched with high levels of nitrogen, however, many other agricultural chemicals are precipitated from the water column and are not detected by water testing. The aim of Stephen's study was to determine the fate of agricultural contaminants, pollution history of the basin, and identify hotspots of accumulation. This was achieved by taking surface sediment grabs from around the lake and temporally using dated sediment cores.
As always, we'll run our fund-raising raffle (bring a gold coin or two), and then share tea, coffee and bickies afterwards so bring your own cup. Members of the public are welcome to join us.