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Aquatic Environment Education Centre

Find out more about our sustainable solution to wastewater management and other hands-on environmental education programs and research opportunities.

The overall Waterview Project made mention of an educational facility at Wonga “This area would develop into an education and tourism centre, offering research facilities to local universities and the Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre (MDFRC)”. However, it was never envisaged that it would become such a success.

Following on from several studies and research projects by local universities, Wonga Wetlands was identified as a living laboratory, and the universities and the MDFRC wanted to continue their involvement and research at Wonga. Local schools, TAFEs and environmental-interest groups also wanted to visit and study environmental issues at Wonga.

In early 2002 the MDFRC donated an appropriate transportable 'field laboratory' to allow them to continue their research and association with Wonga. With a facility, there was no stopping the visitors, and their numbers have increased. In 2015 there were a total of approximately 11,200 visitors to the Wonga Wetlands and these generally comprised:

  • 74 school groups (K-12)
  • 14 University and TAFE groups
  • 66 Environmental/Naturalist Groups
  • 5 conferences
  • 11 weddings
  • 4,800 general public

There have been a number of programs run at Wonga Wetlands including:

  • Water testing for students ranging from primary school through to year 12
  • Macroinvertebrates sampling
  • Environmental treasure hunts
  • Recycling games
  • Microscope work
  • Group talks about Council's Water and Wastewater treatment plants
  • Revegetation programs
  • River and city stormwater management
  • Man's effect on the environment of the floodplain

The Aquatic Environment Education Centre tells the story of AlburyCity's ecologically sustainable solution to wastewater management and its other environmental projects. It provides hands-on education programs and research opportunities. Research projects undertaken have included the following:

Charles Sturt University

  • flora and fauna studies
  • hydrogeological studies
  • ornithological studies
  • wetland marketing studies
  • bird management study

La Trobe University

  • frogs and salinity study
  • riparian vegetation study

Wodonga TAFE / National Environment Centre

  • management plan study course
  • bird observations


  • study on environmental consequences of wetland salinity

Monash University

  • study on the importance of wet and dry cycles in floodplain wetlands.

Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre

  • The effects of increasing salinity on ecosystem function, resilience and diversity (2003-2005)
  • The impact of salinity pulses on the emergence of plant and zooplankton from wetland seed and egg banks (2006-2007)
  • From fresh to saline: A comparison of zooplankton and plant communities developing under a gradient of salinity with communities developing under constant salinity levels (2007-2008)
  • The influence of sulfidic sediments on the viability of wetland egg and seed bank communities (2010)
  • Assessing the potential to use wetlands for agricultural benefits whilst maintaining ecological values (2011)
  • From Saline to fresh: Resting egg banks facilitating recovery of zooplankton communities after extended exposure to saline conditions (2012)
  • Growth response of aquatic macrophytes to blackwater events (2013)
  • Investigate how riparian vegetation primary production responds to flow and determine if understory riparian vegetation can be used in predictive ecological response models of floodplain/wetland condition (2013)
  • Seed bank and wetland vegetation dynamics in response to environmental watering (2014)
  • How do sequences of flooding and drying events affect terrestrial seedling establishment (Current)