Rip Curl team up to transform coast

Rip Curl employees have teamed with local community groups for the annual Rip Curl Planet Days, held since 2000.

GORCC Conservation Superviser Georgina Beale with volunteers at Rip Curl Planet Day last year.

The concept celebrates Rip Curl’s commitment to the environment by providing the necessary attention and resources for significant coastal management strategies on the Surf Coast.

Over two days the company commits the time of all staff from the Rip Curl International head office in Torquay.

Rip Curl CEO and Planet Day participant Stephan Kay shows his support of the company’s involvement.

“It really gives me a sense of achievement and pride to see the transformation of the coastal foreshore that’s occurred as a result of the efforts of our staff helping the volunteer community groups.

“I love seeing plants and regenerated sections of the coast that Rip Curl employees have worked on when I’m going for a surf or walking the cliffs,” Mr Kay said.

Under the guidance of local representatives from environmentally responsible groups, Rip Curl employees generally tackle any task that ensures the ongoing sustainability of strategic locations along the Surf Coast which could include:

  • Planting trees
  • Eradicating foreign species threatening local plants and
  • Implementing water saving strategies.

The teams are guided by local representatives to work collectively on projects threatening the local coastal area including:

  • The Surf Coast Shire
  • The Great Ocean Road Coastal Committee (GORCC)
  • Parks Victoria
  • Surfers Appreciating the Natural Environment (SANE)
  • Torquay and Jan Juc Coast Action groups and
  • The state government Department of Sustainability & Environment.

Since Rip Curl initiated this annual community project in the year 2000, over 80,000 plants indigenous to the Surf Coast have been put in across the region between Point Impossible and Bells Beach/Southside.

Thanks to ongoing, year-round maintenance by the local groups, areas previously worked on have flourished, with a better than 80 per cent long-term plant survival rate.

Rip Curl Planet Day will be held on 25 & 26 October. For more information or to get involved contact Mark Flanagan on 03 5261 0176 or 0408 619 929, email mflanagan@ripcurl.com.au

Learn more about coastal environmental volunteering in our region.

Action and art for conservation

Students from St. Therese Catholic Primary School have been working alongside local environmental volunteers to protect threatened Moonah trees while encouraging others to look after our coastline.

Grade 3 and 4 students from St. Therese Primary School students teamed up with with volunteers from Surf Coast Inland Plains Network (SCIPN),  Torquay Coast Action (TCA) and the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) to plant 400 Moonah and Wirildra trees near  Whites Beach.

Drawing inspiration from the latest SCIPN wildlife card collection by local artist Mark Trinham, students also created and displayed their own artwork at the planting site.

St. Therese Primary School students Mickey Cotsopoulos, Charlotte Morgan and Olivia Gross with their artwork and GORCC conservation officer Georgie Beale

Native animals such as frogs, reptiles, mammals, bats, freshwater fish and many birds from the region feature in the cards, which were developed to promote local  wildlife and conservation education.

SCIPN operations manager Mandy Coulson said students had researched Moonah Woodlands in class and also worked on their art.

“Their artwork depicts local trees and animals, and has been displayed near the planting site to raise public awareness of the coastal environment,” she said.

For more information on Moonah Woodlands, please click here.

Glenda Shomaly, a volunteer from TCA, said St. Therese Primary School plays an active role in educating its students on the importance of maintaining and enhancing the local environment.

“St. Therese Catholic Primary School students plant 400 trees a year  as a part of their carbon offset project,” she said.

The school’s sustainability coordinator, Gerard McCarthy, said students were excited to participate in the day’s activities.

“Opportunities like this allow the students to further understand their local environment and how to look after it,” he said.

“As they grow up, they will be able to appreciate their own efforts made to protect the area.”

This educational activity was made possible by a grant received from the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, which is celebrating 25 years of land care this year.

Why did the site need rehabilitation?

The area, which borders Fishermans Beach and Whites Beach, was chosen because only one per cent of Moonah trees remain there due to decimation.

GORCC coastal project manager Mike Bodsworth said GORCC was grateful to the students and volunteers for their assistance in an area requiring restoration.

“GORCC has supported their work by fencing the site to protect the re-vegetated area and give it the best chance of survival,” he said.

Our coastal ecosystem will be threatened if Moonah Woodlands are not planted in the area.

More information

Torquay Coast Action hold regular working bees along the coast.

For further information please phone 5261 6266.

Check out what other students have done to help the coast in our previous blogs:

Queens Park blitz a group effort

Plunging in for fish count

Students take lead on coast care