Surf Coast BioBlitz

Did you know that September is National Biodiversity Month?

September is a great time to explore the biodiversity of our incredible Surf Coast and to celebrate, the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee is organising a BioBlitz!

Can you help us find all the different plants and animals along the Surf Coast? This is a chance to learn about the things that live where you live: plants, birds, fish, fungi, insects, arachnids – everything!

Join us in getting out and documenting this treasure-trove of life’s variety, all found in our backyard. Get your camera and upload your observations to iNaturalist, and if you are within the boundaries of the Surf Coast it will be included in the Surf Coast September 2019 BioBlitz.

Last year we had over 560 observations of approximately 250 species, including 123 species of plants, 47 species of birds, 5 mammals, 10 fungi, and many others.

Let’s see if we can beat last year’s efforts:

Throughout September, environmental educator Possum Pete will be out in the community running several BioBlitz sessions. Join an event near you or see what you can find with your friends.

Sunday 1 September – Pt Roadknight, Anglesea

  • 10.30am – 12pm – Biodiversity walk
    We’ll embark from Pt Roadknight boat ramp for a biodiversity exploration walk. To commemorate Wattle Day, we’ll admire the beautiful wattles that are currently on show and see what other amazing biodiversity we can find.
  • 4pm – Interactive activity trailer
    Our digital microscope will be set up for a look ‘Up Close’ at some of the smallest coastal creatures.
  • 5 – 7pm – Rock pool evening exploration
    Let’s see what creatures call the rock pools home – we may even spy an octopus! Bring your torch and a pair of sturdy shoes.

Saturday 7 September – Rocky Point, Torquay

  • 10.30am – Rock pool explore at Rocky Point
    Let’s see what creatures call the rock pools home – we may even spy an octopus! Meet at the rotunda at the end of Surf Beach Drive, next to Spring Creek. Bring a water a bottle and a pair of sturdy shoes.

Friday 13 September – Moggs Creek picnic ground

  • 5pm – late – Full moon creepy crawlies
    Let’s find all the amazing creatures people think are scary. We’ll be searching for arachnids, bats, and phobia-inducing fluffy moths. If we’re lucky, we might hear the cackle of the Yellow-bellied Glider to the full moon. Bring good shoes, appropriate clothing and your water bottle. This is a Friends of Eastern Otways activity in partnership with Parks Victoria.

If you are interested in attending an event please RSVP with Possum Pete on 0412 044 127. To register with iNaturalist and track your BioBlitz observations head to www.inaturalist.org.

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee is a State Government body responsible for protecting, enhancing, and developing coastal Crown land from Point Impossible to Cumberland River. All funds raised through the organisation’s commercial endeavours are reinvested back into the coast. Visit us at www.gorcc.com.au.

Out and about with Possum Pete

Exploring the coast with Possum Pete

This time of the year is characterised by dynamic weather with the definite progression from warmer to colder months. We have experienced the crisp, blue sky and still autumn conditions, and then there’s the driving rain and blizzard-like gales as powerful Antarctic storms herald that winter has arrived on the Surf Coast. We had it all this term, and students had to be at their bravest to be out there in some of the more challenging conditions we’re likely to have all year.

There were many highlights this term, including the conservation activities with year 7s from Grovedale College, and ecosystem walks with Surf Coast Secondary. By far the largest and most impactful project was a partnership with Mackillop College, the Friends of Eastern Otways, Parks Victoria and the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee. We have been able to remove a ferocious invasion of coastal tea-tree from significant heathland at Moggs Creek in sessions that represent hundreds of hours of volunteer work! Read more

Fence a win for environmental and cultural heritage conservation

Under the guidance of Wadawurrung (Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation), a rabbit proof fence has recently been installed by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC).

A win for both environmental and cultural heritage conservation, the fence is designed to disrupt destructive rabbit activity in and around Whites Beach, Torquay.

The fence is positioned between an area known as ‘the gap’ along the gravel section of the Esplanade down to the Point Impossible Nude Beach.

The fence forms part of an integrated rabbit control program developed to support and restore ecological processes and preserve the integrity of culturally sensitive sites. Read more

Monitoring coastal erosion in Anglesea

The Great Ocean Road coast is constantly changing.

While Victoria has a long history of weather variability such as storms, droughts and floods, climate change is projected to increase risks to coastal environments through drivers such as sea-level rise, change in wave-direction and increases in swell energy and storm tide events. These drivers affect coastal erosion, sediment supply and inundation and are expected to vary geographically across Victoria’s coastal zone.

The Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program (VCMP) aims to provide communities with information on coastal condition, change, hazards, and the expected longer-term impacts associated with climate change that will support decision making and adaptation planning. Read more

Coast Guardians – future protectors of the coast

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s (GORCC) management area is rich with various habitats and environments, each providing separate and valuable educational opportunities for students.

Since 2011, GORCC has been running education activities based on natural resource management practices and hands-on conservation activities, engaging with students from all over Victoria.

The program – designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to work with, understand, respect, protect and enhance our coastal surroundings – aims to inspire students to be the environmental stewards of the future and become advocates for the coastal environment. Read more