Eco System Health Indicators

Ecosystem health indicators assess how an ecosystem functions

Environmental indicators have been defined as physical, chemical, biological or socio-economic measures that best represent the key elements of a complex ecosystem or environmental issue.  For an indicator to be effective it must provide a true measure of a component of the ecosystem

A great way to measure the health of our ecosystem is to monitor the health of our water ways and wetlands.  When we think of wetlands we often think of the local swamp or low lying area near the coast, but wetlands are much more than that.   Swamps, marshes, billabongs, lakes, salt marshes, mudflats, mangroves, coral reefs, fens and peat bogs are wetlands.   We have great examples of that on the Fleurieu Peninsula including between Victor Harbor and Port Elliot.

Almost anywhere that can be wet is a wetland, as long as it has plants, animals or soil types that are adapted to wet conditions.  Scientist who study the health of the eco system will be monitoring those particular areas such as wetlands and waterways. If there are pollutants and invasive non-native flora and fauna, the eco system suffers.  Since we are part of this eco system for our own needs such as fresh water, food, quality air etc.., our own health suffer if the eco system is unhealthy.  So it is vital that we nurture and treasure our environment for our own good and those of future generations.