VIEWS: 25 PAGES: 14 POSTED ON: 10/8/2010
COASTLINE SPRING UPDATE 2010 Coordinator’s Message Matt Fox, State Program Coordinator Hello, and welcome to the Coastline Spring Update. As well as providing some good weather for ducks, the 2010 winter saw whale sightings coming in thick and fast around the coast. We heard reports of orcas at Barwon Heads, humpbacks in Port Phillip Bay, and saw the southern right whales return to embayments in the west to calve. And those of us who attended the Fairhaven Coastal Community Forum last weekend were treated to a visit by several Southern Rights. Southern right whales were first protected in the 1930s, as commercial hunting pressures saw the global population plummet to as low as 300 animals. Today, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) puts the global population at somewhere around 10,000, with a doubling time of 10–12 years. The species has gone from an IUCN rating of ‘vulnerable’ in 1994, to ‘lower risk/conservation dependent’ in 1996, and graduated to ‘least concern’ in 2008. This represents a spectacular rise in terms of conservation status over a relatively short timeframe. The Australian population is thought to be growing at around 7%. DSE’s resident whale expert Mandy Watson reckons we had 5 or 6 births in Victoria over the recent winter months. Driven by the concerns of the community and government, the return of this species from the brink of extinction was achieved through international cooperation and planning for the future. And so, the comeback of the southern right whale is an environmental good news story, a tangible reason for optimism in times of increasingly complex global environmental challenges. What better way to start spring than with a good dose of optimism? National Recognition for Innovative Project Kristie King, Middle Island Penguin Monitoring Coordinator, Warrnambool Coastcare/Landcare Group Members of the Warrnambool Coastcare/Landcare Group and the Point Danger Committee of Management recently received recognition at the National Landcare Awards in Canberra where, on 24 June, they were awarded the Australian Government Coastcare Award. The groups have been instrumental in the success of the innovative Southwest Maremma Project. The award recognises their efforts in working to protect mainland seabird colonies at Warrnambool and Portland by adapting the use of Maremma guardian dogs to deter fox predation of nesting little penguins, short- tailed shearwaters and cape gannets. Since the project’s implementation in 2006, no fox kills have been recorded on Middle Island, which has enabled the penguin colony to undergo a remarkable recovery – from less than ten birds in 2005 to approximately 140 in 2010. Maremmas were also introduced to the Point Danger cape gannet colony in 2008, which enabled the colony to breed on the mainland for the first time in many years. Warrnambool Coastcare/Landcare Group, which has been involved from the start, coordinates a monitoring program on Middle Island that collects information about the penguin colony’s size, health and breeding success. This program has been hugely popular with the local community: since 2006, more than 200 people have donated over 1200 volunteer hours to help monitor the penguin colony. If you’d like to get involved with the Middle Island Penguin Monitoring Program, contact Program Coordinator Kristie at email@example.com. Tree Day Tradition Marty Gent, Coast Action / Coastcare Facilitator, Warrnambool This year National Tree Day in Warrnambool returned to one of our main surf beaches. ‘The Flume’ as it is known by locals used to be covered in Marram grass and beach goers had worn away numerous paths down to the beach. In 2002 local surfers and the Warrnambool Coastcare/Landcare group got together to begin a project called ‘re-veg the flume’. Since then thousands of plants have been reintroduced to the site and many weeds removed. In 2004 Linda Said and John Amor fought hard to get Coastcare funding to build a viewing platform so that surfers could check out the surf without trampling the vegetation. This has also made a significant improvement to the site and there has been an impressive recovery of native species. Since the sad passing of John earlier this year a small plaque has been placed on the platform in his memory. John’s friends and family were present on National Tree Day and planted a grove of She Oaks, his favourite tree. Despite the rain and the cold, they were joined by nearly 200 volunteers who planted over 3000 trees. Volunteers from Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Group, Warrnmabool City Council, Rotary Daybreak, Scouts, Guides, Warrnambool Boardriders, Warrnambool Toyota and other community members all worked together to get all the trees in the ground in just 2 hours, and were well rewarded with a BBQ lunch. This project is a terrific example of how Coastcare can work together with the rest of the community and make a positive difference to our coastal reserves. In the past 8 years there has been a significant improvement in the area. Native plants are beginning to out compete some of the weeds and the area is now a haven for native birds and other animals. As we were packing up at the end of the day we were reminded of one of the reasons that we do this work when a swamp wallaby bounded by… we were also very glad that we had put guards around all the seedlings! An Emerging Weed Gidja Walker Cretan trefoil (Lotus creticus) was planted by the Soil Conservation Authority in the 1970s to stabilise dunes and reclamation areas in the Queenscliff Port Area, but concern was raised in the early 1980s when its potential as a weed was observed by a number of botanists. Cretan trefoil, a low spreading plant with silver-grey foliage and yellow pea flowers, grows in disturbed sandy areas. As the shape of primary dunes is determined by the plants growing on them, this plant has the potential to invade and reshape our coastlines as it goes. Until recently, it was restricted to the west of the Port Phillip Bay but in recent years it has appeared on the eastern side, where it has been transported by ferry traffic, and so has become a new weed on the Mornington Peninsula. Mornington Peninsula Shire has undertaken control with the aim of eliminating this species around the ferry terminal; Barwon Coast Shire is initiating actions on its side of the Bay to control this species and reduce its spread. Coast Action/Coastcare facilitators have been integral to this process. The seed of Lotus is likely to be long lived and there is a high possibility that not all the locations where it occurs have been identified. If you think you might have this species on your section of coastline, particularly on the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay, please inform DSE or your local council. Plant Identification Workshops Terri Allen Over the past several months the South Gippsland Conservation Society has been presenting plant identification sessions at the Bunurong Environment Centre, Inverloch. The first, which was held on Thursday, 22 July, attracted thirty-four participants, a mixed group of novices and passionate botanists, some from as far afield as Melton and the Latrobe Valley. Two classes were held in which ecological vegetation was described and sample plants passed around. Enthusiastic students eagerly absorbed the information: some photographed specimens, scribbled on handout sheets, drew the plants or took them to pieces to make herbarium sheets. Morning drizzle stopped in time for an afternoon field trip to Screw Creek to view the saltmarsh and sand dunes plants. Knowledge learnt in the morning session was put into practice as keen botanists identified plants in the field and linked tiny samples to full-sized plants. A bonus discovery was the flowering helmet orchids. The second workshop, held on Thursday, 5 August, was equally successful. We looked at lowland forest and had an introductory discussion about what makes orchids special. Once again the weather was kind for the excursion to the Thompson Reserve. There were two more workshops: Wet and Sand Heathlands, held on 19 August, included an excursion to Wonthaggi heathland; the 2 September workshop was to study grasses, sedges and rushes and included another excursion to Thompson Reserve. The workshops are free, but BYO lunch and clothes suitable for a field trip. For further information contact the Bunurong Environment Centre on 5674 3738 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Summerlands for the Penguins Denis Cox, Coast Action / Coastcare Facilitator, Port Phillip A celebration of Phillip Island was recently held at The Nobbies, Phillip Island, for the 30 June completion of the Summerland Peninsula buyback. Gavin Jennings, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, officiated. Also present were Public Land Division Executive Director Peter Watkinson and former Conservation Minister Joan Kirner. The buyback, begun in 1985, involved the purchase of 773 private lots that will be incorporated into Phillip Island Nature Park managed area for the rehabilitation of penguin habitat. It is estimated that around 19,000 penguins were breeding across the Summerland Peninsula in 1985 and that that number has now increased to about 28,000 breeding penguins. The 2010 State Government committed $3.4 million of its budget over three years to restore the habitat and help ensure the long term survival of this much-loved species. Peter thanked the many DSE staff who worked on this important project over the past 25 years. Winter Weed War at the Williams Road Beach, Mt Eliza Ann Scholes – Friends of Williams Road Beach Despite early morning hail and wind an active team from the Mt Eliza Association for Environmental Care (MEAFEC), together with families from Baden Powell Bushland Reserve, The Friends of Williams Road Beach and Baden Powell Park Scouts attended the Winter Weed War at the Williams Road beach, Mt Eliza. A team of MEAFEC members, together with local contractor NatureLinks, worked on woody weed removal from the Williams Road bluff. Amid lots of banter and high spirits the team’s hard work resulted in 10 metres of polygala and boneseed being taken to the tip. Work along the beach was the domain of family groups. Gazanias, sea rocket and small polygala were removed from the back of the beach near the scout hall; annual grasses among indigenous saltgrass were hand weeded. There was a great sense of enthusiasm at the sausage sizzle and chat that followed all the hard work. It was generally agreed that bringing together disparate community groups that embraced three generations had resulted in a happy social mix and an excellent environmental outcome. The Winter Weed War will take place again next year. Many thanks to our local botanist Jeff Yugovic for spending time with each group and whose personal input created enthusiasm and interest that is particularly important to the young and uninitiated. Thanks also to the Mornington Peninsula Shire and its contractor for support and to Coast Action/Coastcare; they inspired this event and are assisting with funding ongoing restoration of the site. Surf Coast Marine Debris Initiative Heidi Taylor, Tangaroa Blue Every year, six million tonnes of rubbish finds its way into the world’s oceans. That’s three times as much rubbish dumped annually as the weight of fish caught. It is estimated that 46,000 individual pieces of plastic float in every square mile of ocean. Most people agree that this horrifying amount of marine debris is unsightly, but not everyone is aware of the huge impact it has on our marine life and seabirds. Seventy-seven Australian marine species have been shown to have been affected by marine debris. Many of them have been killed by this floating rubbish. Included in this count are over twenty endangered Australian species, including the humpback and blue whales, tristan albatross and loggerhead turtles. Marine debris can become entangled around necks, flukes, flippers and fins. Because the plastics and ropes cannot stretch as the animal or bird grows, it can cause painful infections, amputations, strangulation and, ultimately, death. Even the smallest pieces of plastic can have fatal results, as can cigarette butts. Seabirds such as albatrosses pick up these pieces thinking they are food. They then regurgitate them to feed their young, who cannot digest plastic or cigarette filters. Other marine life, such as turtles, confuse items such as plastic bags as food. The ingestion of plastics can physically block the digestive system, causing pain, internal injuries, suppression of the immune and reproductive systems and death. Once discarded into the environment, debris can take hundreds of years to degrade. Plastic bottles take up to 450 years, monofilament fishing line up to 600 years, cigarette butts up to ten. This means that, while it remains in the food chain, marine debris will continue to kill, time and time again. To help save our unique marine life, seabirds and marine ecosystem, Tangaroa Blue Ocean Care Society and Surfrider Foundation Australia have launched the National Marine Debris Initiative; the latest location to join the project is the Surf Coast of Victoria. Over the next twelve months a Caring for Our Country government grant will enable beach cleanup events and community activities to take place that will engage community members in making a difference to the health of the local marine environment. The goal: to create a long term monitoring project. Beach cleanup activities will include data collection and analysis to look at what types of debris is impacting the Surf Coast, which will be followed by research that involves all stakeholders to determine the most practical ways of reducing those items. Everyone is invited to join in this project along the Victorian coastline. For more information email Heidi Taylor at email@example.com or Kristy Theissling at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cape Paterson: Dreaming big Jemma Crawford, Coast Action / Coastcare Facilitator, and Gary Martyn Cape Paterson Residents and Ratepayers Association The Cape Paterson Residents and Ratepayers Association is a group that isn’t afraid to dream big. Its mission over the past four years has been to improve the Cape Paterson Foreshore Reserve, including the water quality of a small tributary of Pea Creek that runs beside the Wonthaggi Life Saving Club. Previously the group was successful in obtaining a Community Water grant, and then a Caring for Our Country grant, which covered the cost of removing about forty large pine trees along with mirror bush and other noxious weeds. The group has since successfully applied for a Coast Care Victoria Community Grant to remove another nineteen pine trees and more woody weeds. The group doesn’t just weed though. Since the group began, an estimated 15,000 indigenous plants have been planted, with 740 trees and shrubs put in the ground at its most recent event in August. The community spirit in Cape Paterson is strong; the Cape Paterson Coast Action Group has been active on the coast for over a decade and work in conjunction with the Residents and Ratepayers Association. The Wonthaggi Life Saving Club also gets involved by preparing morning tea and a delicious lunch for the hard workers. With the Cape Paterson Foreshore Reserve nestled in between the Bunurong Marine National Park and the Bunurong Marine Park and Coastal Reserve, it truly is a special place. To become a member of the Cape Paterson Residents and Ratepayers Association, contact Gary Martyn on email@example.com. Make sure to look at the website too, at www.capepaterson.asn.au. It showcases a lot of the community groups in the area. Gippsland Lakes Survey Sue Mason, Dolphin Research Institute The Gippsland Lakes is a beautiful place to work during winter. It is made more interesting when one is lucky enough to be studying the resident dolphins. As you may well know, the resident population has been plagued with viral and fungal infections in recent years. The research team spent four full days observing and photographing the resident dolphins with the aim of identifying individual dolphins and recording any lesions present. We encountered a number of pods each day: pods consisting of one to six dolphins or much larger feeding pods of thirty, fifty, even more, animals. These larger pods were spread over a couple of hundred metres. Individuals were regularly observed leaping and spy hopping, all spectacular surface active behaviours. It was exciting to see so many dolphins in the one place at the one time, even if it did make our job of trying to photograph all of the individuals more difficult. Another observation was that we saw at least two small calves and a number of sub-adult animals. It is pleasing to see that the population is on the increase. Every time we found the larger group it was were feeding. But the dolphins weren’t the only ones feeding: silver gulls and terns were getting their fair share, too, which indicates that the lakes are producing large numbers of small schooling fish at present. We took nearly 3000 images, which now need to be sorted and analysed. At first glance, it appears that some of the dolphins have spots indicative of dolphin pox. One of our PhD students, Kate, will be comparing these images to those that were taken when the dolphins were heavily covered with lesions to get an indication of how they have recovered. Connies Don’t Need to be Conned into Learning More About the Marine Environment Jessica Brown, Coast Action / Coastcare Facilitator, Anglesea The lively Connies sailed away on Port Phillip Bay early in June on a marine biology training day designed by Coast Action/Coastcare and the Marine Discovery Centre to increase The Connies’ knowledge of the ecological and cultural significance of the Bay. Marine experts from the Marine Discovery Centre, Parks Victoria and the Coast Action/Coastcare (DSE) accompanied The Connies on the trip. The Connies is a performance troupe – ecologists, artists and actors – born of the rich Melbourne 112 tram conducting tradition. The troupe, a key community environmental education agency, uses yarns, poetry and song to educate and entertain on environmental, social, historical and cultural themes. It appears at environment and culture festivals, schools, Landcare and Coast Action/Coastcare events. Training was organised to ensure that The Connies have the necessary knowledge and understanding of coastal and marine species and issues required for responsible community education. The Connies carry tickets in the form of informative collectable swap cards of beautiful illustrations or photos in their trammie bags. As Roberto D’Andrea, the head Connie explained, ‘The group now plans to create another set of cards based on their experiences on the marine biology training day on Port Phillip Bay’. The Connies listened carefully to presentations on coastal management issues and historical stories of the Bay, and participated in marine flora and fauna identification sessions. Those on board were particularly thrilled to visit the Australasian gannet population at Popes Eye and the Australian fur seals at Chinamens Hat, and to learn more about Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park. The Connies left the training day with an increased knowledge of the unique ecology of Port Phillip Bay and a readiness to educate the community on the importance of protecting it. Coast Action/Coastcare would like to thank Parks Victoria and the Marine Discovery Centre for facilitating an informative and rewarding field trip. Why Plant the Wye River SLSC? Jessica Brown, Coast Action/Coastcare Facilitator, Anglesea The coastal dunes surrounding the Wye River SLSC had a helping hand on Sunday, 13 June, during a planting morning organised by Coast Action/Coastcare, the Otway Coast Committee and members of the Wye River SLSC. Enthusiastic SLSC members, keen locals and willing visitors collaborated together to revegetate the dune system and hand pull weeds. Ficinia, dianella, olearia and leucopogon, as well as other species appropriate to dune systems, were planted onsite. This year’s planting day followed the initial planting, which occurred in 2009. The revegetation of the dunes will boost the ecological value of the site and protect the building from wave inundation. Thank you to all involved in the day. Launch of the Wetland Education Website Rhiannon Darby, Year 9 Captain and member of the Student Environment Council, Carranballac College On Wednesday, 21 July, the Department of Sustainability and Environment launched a new website on wetland education at Point Cook Coastal Park. Student Environment Councillors from Years 7–9 at Carranballac College, Point Cook, were privileged to attend the launch. Anne McLaughlin from the Marine Discovery Centre at Queenscliff taught the Student Environment Council about migratory patterns of shore birds and how they related to the Point Cook area. We studied the importance of preserving our local wetlands and the need to preserve of shore bird habitats at all Ramsar Convention locations. We enjoyed work with the cutout models complete with feathers, comparisons of weight, methods of feeding and data on the amazing distances travelled by each species. It was exciting to speak with the authors, illustrator and others involved. The website was launched by the local member for Altona, Jill Hennessey, who later wrote to our college to compliment our participation and the event itself. The website, an invaluable tool for students and teachers, provides information and many learning opportunities. Visit www.dse.vic.gov.au/wetlandeducation Say Hello to the New Ocean Grove Coastcare Group Cate Barham and Jackie Scally Ocean Grove Coastcare group was born on a cold, drizzly, windy school night . Thursday, 5 August, saw Ocean Grovers and other interested people from all around the Bellarine Peninsula braving the weather to attend the first ever Ocean Grove Coastcare event – a movie night at the Chicken Shop, a popular venue among locals. The film Message in the Waves proved fitting a choice, as it poignantly addressed a broad range of coastal and environmental issues, including Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, the impacts of ever-increasing plastic marine debris and the classic slogan, Think global, act local. This beautifully executed film, with its inherent coastal themes and issues, was an excellent way to bring people together to generate interest in the new Coastcare group. Providing ample food for thought, the film also prompted discussion from the diverse audience about what can be done locally. The evening, organised by locals Jackie Scally from Deakin Uni, Maddie Glynn from Barwon Coast, Jo Ludbrook – Senior Coast Action/Coastcare Facilitator and myself, was a great success from all accounts. Fifty people of all different ages and interest groups crammed tightly and comfortably into the Ocean Grove Chicken Shop. The film helped to inspire and encourage thirty-five community members to sign up and join the new group. Next on the cards will be a series of meetings and events at which the group will surely develop its own unique personality and strengths. The future looks bright for the young Ocean Grove Coastcare group. For more information on this group please contact Joanne Ludbrook, Coast Action/Coastcare Facilitator. Students Stepping Out to Help Save the Sand Dunes Joanne Ludbrook Coast Action / Coastcare Facilitator, and Anne Mclauchlin Marine Discovery Centre Education Officer More than 600 students from twelve schools will provide a helping hand to the Geelong region’s fragile sand dunes, one of the most sensitive habitats in the region. As part of the 2010 Sand Dune Rehabilitation program, students participate in the month-long assault to help stabilise and revegetate dunes across the Surf Coast and the Bellarine Peninsula. Since it began in 1986, the program has seen tens of thousands of students, as well as many community and industry groups, working hard to rehabilitate large areas of degraded coastline. Fisheries Victoria’s Marine Discovery Centre Education Officer Anne McLaughlin said it has always been a satisfying program for everyone involved. “Not only is it a great day out of the classroom, but students are also taking positive steps to help rehabilitate a small area while learning about the sand dune habitat. ‘At the end of a day’s hard work all participants can all measure their efforts because they can see the difference they have made.’ From the middle of July school groups will work with local land managers and marine education officers to lay down brush matting and sow indigenous plants. Organised and coordinated by the Marine Discovery Centre, this project is supported by Coastcare Victoria Community Grants. These grants are a joint program delivered by the Australian government’s Caring for our Country and the Department of Sustainability and Environment’s Coast Action/Coastcare program. The coastal land managers are constantly working to provide dedicated access paths through the dunes for pedestrians; students who have participated in this program have helped to promote good behaviour in sensitive ecosystems. Milestone for First Indigenous Connections to Corangamite Coast Crews Tracey Pennington, Coast Action/Coastcare Facilitator, Anglesea The first Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the Indigenous Connections to Corangamite Coast (ICCC) project crews to complete study units and onground projects were awarded certificates at a recent ceremony to acknowledge the efforts of the young people involved. Representatives of key project partners, including Conservation Volunteers Australia, DSE, the Wathaurong Cooperative, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, Mission Australia, the City of Greater Geelong and Barwon Coast Committee were in attendance to congratulate and show their appreciation to the successful ICCC participants. The day before the ceremony, crews were treated to a field trip to selected Surf Coast locations that showcase the region’s rich Indigenous cultural and natural heritage. Participants visited Aboriginal middens at tourist mecca Bells Beach and the Koori interpretive trail at Point Addis, and viewed stratified middens and ancient Moonahs at Point Roadknight beach. The group was also fortunate to catch a rare close up of seven Hooded Plovers, a threatened bird species, foraging together among the seaweed at Point Roadknight. Representatives from local land managers and agencies, including AAV, DSE, PV, GORCC, the Wathaurong Co-operative and traditional land owners, provided a wealth of information on coastal issues, management and future employment options. Thanks to everyone who participated in this successful day. Conservation Volunteers Australia and the ICCC Steering Committee are currently scouting for the next group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people to join the Indigenous CVA crews to continue the two year program that will be funded by the federal government’s Caring for Country Grants program. To find out more or register interest in joining, contact Conservation Volunteers Australia Geelong on 5221 0300. REGIONAL UPDATES Far Southwest Update Marty Gent, Coast Action / Coastcare Facilitator Volunteers have been very busy over the winter months; monitoring whales; planting trees; attending working bees; and getting ready for a suite of spring and summer activities. We have three new groups active in the region: Nelson Coastcare has received a grant to undertake a huge project working with Parks Victoria to tackle the bridal creeper problem; and also plan to undertake a shore bird monitoring and protection project. Friends of Gritiths Island are looking for volunteers to help establish a group to control weeds and protect the shearwaters that nest on the island. Friends of Fawthrop lagoon have held their first working bee and are looking for more members to help with the management and protection of this well loved coastal wetland. As for our existing groups, Killarney Coastcare are getting ready for Hooded Plover counts and volunteers from Warrnambool Coastcare/Landcare Group have already discovered the first little penguin chicks for the season. Looks like those dogs will have to be called back into action a little earlier this year! Surf Coast & Otways Update Jessica Brown and Tracey Pennington, Coast Action/Coastcare Facilitators, Anglesea Hello from the central southwest. As we say goodbye to winter and immerse ourselves in the joys of spring, it is important to look back at the achievements that the chilly months brought. Winter was a busy period for Coastcare Victoria Community Grant recipients in the central southwest. The Otway Coast Committee and the Southern Otway Landcare Network continued their efforts to protect Hooded Plover habitat and remove Sea Spurge. The Friends of Queens Park have been busy controlling Sweet Pittosporum, Montpellier Broom and Watsonia. The Heytesbury and District Landcare Network (HDLN), in conjunction with Princetown Landcare, removed extensive amounts of boxthorn along the Gellibrand estuary and continue to monitor the area. HDLN held a successful th event in Port Campbell on the 27 of August, the Campbells Creek Recovery Project Community Planting Day. A successful community planting day was also held at the Wye River SLSC in mid June, when club members and enthusiastic volunteers joined forces to revegetate the dunes surrounding the SLSC. A Community Forum for Coastal Volunteers between Torquay and Port Campbell was held on Sunday th the 29 of August at the Fairhaven SLSC. The day focussed on building connections between volunteer groups and between volunteer groups and agencies. The event was partnership between Coast Action/Coastcare, the Otway Coast Committee and the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee…more to follow in the next edition of Coastline! ANGAIR Inc. have been hard at work on their Coastal Moonah Protection Project in the Point Roadknight area, achieving great results, and the Friends of Moggs Creek are continuing with their estuary upgrade work, controlling weeds and replanting. ANGAIR Inc. also has a new mosaic on its office wall in McMillan Street, Anglesea. The mosaic, which features local flora and fauna species, will form part of a series of mosaics in the town that will depict natural, cultural or historical elements of the Anglesea area. The project team included Angair members and was headed by Yvonne Coventry in conjunction with Katie van Nooten. A flock of not one, not two, but seven Hooded Plovers have settled in at Point Roadknight beach. The birds are usually seen only singly, in pairs or with their chicks over spring and summer, so this is great news for Anglesea plover lovers and hoodie helpers. Goodbye winter, hello spring. Geelong - Bellarine Update Joanne Ludbrook, Coast Action/Coastcare Facilitator Winter has brought much action to our southern shores this year. New and exciting coastal community groups are taking advantage of the wetter conditions to get planting and prepare for the busy spring season across the Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast. It is clear to see what we are all working towards when our local seasonal flora and fauna are a constant reminder as to why we strive to protect our southern shores, waters and their inhabitants. So far we’ve had a successful southern right whale breeding season, ten local orange-bellied parrot (OBP) sightings, a pair of brolgas in the Coonewarre Complex and our first Hooded Plovers nesting near Bancoora SLSC this week. Coast Action/Coastcare groups along the Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast are now seeking new members and extend a warm welcome to one-off volunteers or ongoing members to attend meetings, workshops, working bees and monitoring days. Contact Senior CACC Facilitator Joanne Ludbrook to find out where and when activities are happening, or look on the Coastcare Australia website to find a group near you. Landcare network newsletters can be found on Landcare Websites. Bellarine Landcare: For past newsletters and other Landcare information go to http://corangamite.landcarevic.net.au/bellarine. Surf Coast and inland Plains Network newsletters can be found on http://corangamite.landcarevic.net.au/scipn. Port Phillip Update Phillip Wierzbowski, Coast Action/Coastcare Facilitator Western Port Welcomes Waterbirds information sessions were held at Hastings and Churchill Island in August. The Central Coastal Board, in partnership with the Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI), is managing the Caring for Our Country funded project, which commenced in May 2009. The project aims to identify key waterbird habitats, address current and projected threats (e.g. sea level rise) and involve land managers and local communities in effective management of key sites. Mornington Peninsula – Western Port Update Denis Cox, Coast Action/Coastcare Facilitator The Cardinia Creek Wildlife Corridor project in the Koo Wee Rup area aims at recovering indigenous vegetation that supports local wildlife. It is strongly supported by the Cardinia Environment Coalition and St Francis Xavier College Upper Beaconsfield. With the students’ help over 600 trees, shrubs and herbs were planted at Harewood House, Tooradin. More plantings, with support from Koo Wee Rup Secondary College, are planned for September. DSE has provided vital equipment to coastal community groups to help improve the ease and effectiveness of their working bees. Equipment included protective gloves and goggles, herbicide sprayers, rakes and other hand tools, and a motorised post hole digger. The volunteer Warneet Foreshore Committee is about to install coir logs, which are composed of the tough fibre from the exterior of coconuts, to control shoreline erosion and protect adjacent trees on Rutherford Inlet. Seagrass Partnership met recently in Lang Lang to discuss the progress of its mangrove reestablishment program that aims to increase the natural protection that mangroves provide to the eroding shorelines of Western Port in areas between Lang Lang and Queensferry Jetty. The coast will miss two well respected and capable staff in Rohan Sharp, manager of the Capel Sound Foreshore, and Paul le Page, ranger at Balnarring. Both have resigned from their positions. DSE thanks Rohan and Paul for to their dedication to improving the quality of the coast on the Mornington Peninsula and wishes them well for the future. The Bass Coast Shire community grants are now open and will close at the end of September. Go to the Bass Coast Shire website at www. basscoast.vic.gov.au for the details. The volunteer Grantville and District Foreshore Committee has received a walking trails and improvements grant from the Go for Your Life program to install a boardwalk that will provide safe access to the shore at Pioneer Bay. Members from a number of coastal community groups attended a comprehensive Habitat and Conservation Management course that was run by the Southern Peninsula Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association (SPIFFA) on the Mornington Peninsula. The course provided participants with detailed information about vegetation management, grants and working effectively with land managers. South Gippsland Update Jemma Crawford, Acting Coast Action/Coastcare Facilitator Hi everybody, my name’s Jemma Crawford. Your regular Coast Action Coast Care facilitator, Bruce Atkin is on holidays until the end of September, so while he’s away I’ll be facilitating the South Gippsland area. From mid September until the end of October I’ll also be the facilitator for East Gippsland as Jeremy Neilson will be taking a well-earned break. If you have any projects or grant applications you’d like to discuss, contact me on 5183 9116, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. The highlight of the last three months has definitely been that in June, to celebrate the work of volunteers, Bruce ran a coastal volunteers forum at the Fish Creek Hotel. It was a wonderful night that involved a delicious dinner and gave eight community groups the chance to exchange ideas with each other and present the projects they’d been most recently working on. Guest speaker Harry Breidahl presented some very interesting facts about deep sea exploration and pointed out how little we really know about the creatures that live in the ocean’s depths. East Gippsland Update Jeremy Neilson, Coast Action/Coastcare Facilitator When people think of winter they think of lazy days in front of the fire, so you could be forgiven for thinking that our many dedicated volunteers might use this time of year to catch their breath and take a hard-earned rest. But this has not been the case: a number of activities were undertaken over the winter months. The most popular event held during this period was the seventh annual Care Groups Day entitled Walk on the Wild Side, which, this year, provided volunteers with the opportunity to learn about bats, the impacts of samba deer and to gain real hands-on experience with a wide variety of reptiles, including snakes, lizards and yes, even a crocodile (if only a baby) before sitting down to dinner. Over dinner there were a number of indepth conversations, some that built on the day’s topics, others from current volunteer projects. But discussions were put on hold when people headed outside for an spotlight walk along the coastal strip to locate possums, owls, bandicoots and potaroos. Coming Events 29 August: Community Forum for Coastal Volunteers, Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club. 4, 18 & 19 September: Three Hooded Plover workshops at Anglesea, Apollo Bay and Bellarine Peninsula. Contact Birds Australia atwww.birdsaustralia.com.au for more information. 16 September: Moolapio Coastal Saltmarsh Forum, Point Henry. Contact Greening Australia at www.greeningaustralia.org.au for more information. 18 & 19 September: Angair Inc. Wildflower Weekend and Art Show, Anglesea. 19 September: Walk for Wildlife, George Pentland Botanic Gardens in Frankston from noon until 4.00 pm. There will be stalls, activities and roving entertainers all focusing on our local fauna and flora. 20–24 September: Coast to Coast Conference 2010, Adelaide. For more information go to www.coast2coast.org.au. 29 September–1 October: Teacher’s Coastal Ambassadors: professional development opportunity for primary, secondary and student teachers. Phillip Island Nature Park. Contact Jacqui Higgins on (03) 5951 2826 or email email@example.com. 2 October: Visit Jawbone Marine Sanctuary at Williamstown and learn to snorkel. Talk with volunteers from three sanctuaries about marine conservation in Port Phillip. Contact via the Parks Victoria website at www.parkweb.vic.gov.au. 19 & 20 October: Victorian Landcare Forum, Halls Gap. For more information visit the Victorian Landcare Gateway at www.landcarevic.net.au. For more information about any of these activities, contact your local Coast Action/Coastcare facilitator. Coast Action/Coastcare Contacts Coast Action/Coastcare Facilitators Warrnambool and Southwest Marty Gent Tel. 03 5561 9955 Mob. 0428 141 599 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Otways and Surfcoast Jess Brown Tel: 03 5220 2008 Mob: 0400074143 Email: email@example.com Tracey Pennington Tel: 03 5220 2008 Mob: 0409 332 197 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Geelong and Bellarine Joanne Ludbrook Tel: 03 5226 4669 Email: email@example.com Port Phillip Bay Phillip Wierzbowski Tel: 03 9296 4525 Mob: 0411 409 815 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Westernport and Mornington Peninsula Denis Cox Tel: 03 9296 4532 Mob: 0409 958 050 Email: email@example.com South Gippsland Jemma Crawford/Bruce Atkin Mob: 0429 842 142 Tel: 5183 9116 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com East Gippsland Jeremy Neilson Tel: 03 5152 0431 Mob: 0408 357 343 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Statewide Coordinator, Melbourne Matthew Fox Tel: 03 9637 9742 Email: email@example.com Visit our web site at: www.dse.vic.gov.au/coasts Coastcare’s national website: www.coastcare.com.au Coastline Editors: Matthew Fox Clare Millen To receive Coastline in the future contact your local Coast Action/Coastcare Facilitator or phone (03) 9637 9742.
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