A group of young environmental protectors are taking conservation action as part of their community connections class at Surf Coast Secondary College and are set to become guardians of the coast into the future.
The year 10 students have planted over 400 trees as part of various conservation projects which have included the removal of noxious weeds at Whites Beach, planting within Moonah Woodlands at Spring Creek and litter patrols near Jan Juc.
SCSC community connections teacher Shane Elevato said many of the students were now looking to study biology and outdoor education in 2013.
“The students are demonstrating not only a passion for the environment but an interest in conservation as a potential career path for the future.”
The students have been undertaking the work in partnership with the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) through the organisation’s Coast Guardians program.
“The program tied in with our community connections class, which gives students the opportunity to get out into the environment, demonstrate direct activism and put what they have learnt in the classroom into practice,” Mr Elevato said.
He said the year-long program taught students about the impact rubbish has on bird life and marine life and specifically looked at how removing plastic and bottle tops from the coast can help to save animal life.
“The program makes students more appreciative of how special our local environment really is. When they get out into the community and see the impact littering can have they learn to appreciate the environment and have a greater sense of ownership of the environment.”
GORCC conservation officer Georgie Beale said topics covered with the group over the last term included plant communities and dune ecology.
“Throughout the year the students have covered a range of theory topics including plant communities, dune ecology, sustainable fishing, environmental weeds, and marine debris. Planting and weeding is also an important part of the program and helps to ensure noxious weeds do not invade Indigenous plant species,” she said.
The Coast Guardians program also includes work and partnerships with environmental volunteer groups such as Torquay Coast Action, Friends of Queens Park and ANGAIR who have been working with students on various sites throughout the year.
This story featured in the the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast column.
To learn more about the Environmental Education Program visit our website.
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