It was still dark as I headed to Elster Creek to take part in Reveil 24+1 Hour Broadcast 2022 on the first morning of May. Reveil travels West on live audio feeds from streamers around the world at daybreak, making a loop over one earth day.
Elster Creek, loved by our water birds in Elsternwick Nature Reserve, is still a compromised, polluted urban waterway. Almost all the original vegetation communities on the sandbelt have vanished with suburban development. Some flora remnant communities still give us insight into the incredible biodiversity that once flourished here. There was not a lot of direct documentation, so the Elsternwick regeneration project was built on understanding these precious remnant communities as well as historic documents.
The Elster Creek catchment is about 40 square kilometres in area. Most of the waterway is concreted except for the section in the Elsternwick Nature Reserve. It is here that we are putting in a hydrophone (underwater microphone) to listen out for the creek critters, near the Monash Bridge end..
The reserve is being designed and constructed with critters in mind, so we will be deep listening over time to hopefully hear the chamber orchestra of notes swell into a magnificent full-bodied symphony as the new habitats develop and hopefully more critters flourish.
Listening to the creek and recording the sounds of the macro-invertebrate life and fish living there now enables us to hear the base-line health of the waterway as the restoration project begins.
Sound or the bioacoustics connects us to and helps us understand the local underwater biodiversity and will reveal the changes happening hidden beneath the reflective waters.
We also recorded in the Chain of Ponds for the first time and the sounds already coming from there are amazing.