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St Mary’s to Deliver Project Monitoring Water Quality of Local River

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St Mary’s University, Twickenham has started work to monitor the ecology and water quality of the River Crane in Twickenham as a part of an ongoing project to improve the condition of the river. Like many rivers in heavily urbanised areas, the Crane is affected by runoff from roads, sewage effluent and misconnected surface drains which can have severe consequences for invertebrate, fish and bird communities. As part of the year-long project, co-ordinated by Friends of the River Crane Environment (FORCE), Frog Environmental and the Zoological Society of London, the University will be working alongside citizen scientists from the Twickenham area to monitor water quality and invertebrate communities in the river. Invertebrate and water chemistry data are essential for understanding the effects of long-term water quality issues and specific pollution events, and will be the focus of future monitoring and research work based at the University. St Mary’s Lecturer in Geography Dr Iain Cross, who is co-ordinating the University’s contribution to the work, said, “It is really encouraging to see so many volunteers and residents who care deeply about their local river. The invaluable data being gathered by the citizen science team will be instrumental in informing water management strategies in the catchment, which will ensure that the River Crane remains a valuable corridor for people and wildlife in west London.” FORCE Chairman Rob Gray, said, “FORCE greatly welcomes the relationship with St Mary's University. We look forward to developing a research partnership with over the years to come and believe it will be mutually beneficial to the students and the River Crane environment.” Anyone wishing to join the volunteer team should contact Dr Cross.
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