Great Ocean Road Coast Committee staff, environmental volunteers and local students have been busy this winter helping rejuvenate the coastline through planting, conservation works and repairs, ensuring the coast remains in good condition all year round.
Mammoth swells and big storms over the past couple of months have impacted the coastline with several tracks, stairs and carparks affected between Torquay and Lorne.
Great Ocean Road Coast’s foreshore rangers have been busy repairing damaged coastal infrastructure while cleaning up fallen branches, leaves and other rubbish along the coast.
Coastal Reserves Manager Caleb Hurrell said winter was a fantastic time to inject new life into the coast with upgrades to the Teddy’s Lookout stairs recently being completed.
“Teddy’s Lookout is an iconic viewing platform in Lorne and it’s great to be able to offer visitors a safer, more natural extension of the track between the upper and lower lookouts.
“The conservation team planted a variety of indigenous plants to complement the existing flora and habitats.”
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee have partnered with local school groups to plant thousands of indigenous species in prominent locations around Torquay, Anglesea and Lorne as part of their free environmental education program.
More than 1,700 students have already made the trip to the coast to experience the hands-on learning, already exceeding the total number of students in 2016.
Environment and Education Manager Katie Dolling said record numbers were a great indication of the organisation’s commitment to the future generations of coastal protectors.
“Our education program is a great way to encourage environmental stewardship among students of all ages by allowing them to connect and appreciate the natural landscapes through the hands-on participation.”
“It’s fantastic for them to see the real contributions they are making to our coastline through weeding, revegetation and monitoring activities.”
Key education sites for Term 2 students have included Whites Beach, Fishermans Beach, Soapy Rocks and North Lorne.
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee is a not-for-profit organisation that manages 37 kilometres of Crown coastal reserves between Torquay and Lorne. All money raised from commercial operations are reinvested back into the coastal reserves, community education and caravan parks.