Works are well underway for the brand new Anglesea boardwalk at Demons Bluff. Coursing over the unique Anglesea heathland, the boardwalk will make up a 180m section of the 44km Surf Coast Walk, which stretches from Fairhaven to Point Impossible.
Following an engineer’s report, which revealed that cracks in the side of the cliff represented a risk to visitors, the track was re-routed in the interests of visitor safety. The boardwalk will jointly protect the fragile heathland, as well as enhance the visitor experience.
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. Read more →
Lorne and Aireys Inlet P-12 College students have partnered with the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) to regenerate the Erskine Paddock area in Lorne as part of the Coast Guardians Program – a free educational program, which aims to increase environmental awareness in local schools. Read more →
The annual event has seen over 85,000 indigenous Surf Coast plants planted along coastal reserves stretching from Point Impossible through to Bells Beach/Southside.
Rip Curl Team Event and Promotions Manager Mark Flanagan said the day was important to the Rip Curl staff as it provides the opportunity for them to give back to their community.
“The majority of our Torquay staff live on or near the Surf Coast and use the local areas.
“It’s a great feeling for the Rip Curl team to be able to walk past and see the progress of the areas they worked on over the years,” he said.
Mr Flanagan said one of Rip Curl’s core values is to be environmentally responsible with Planet Day providing the opportunity for staff members to actively contribute to their local environment.
“Planet Day is a fantastic way to support the team of dedicated land managers and volunteers who spend hundreds of hours every year to make the coast a better place,” Mr Flanagan said.
Rip Curl CEO and Planet Day participant Stephen Kay said he enjoys seeing the results from the Rip Curl staff.
“We value the opportunity to contribute to the local environment and are committed to the future of the program,” he said.
Staff are divided into various groups over the two days to complete environmental activities such as indigenous tree planting, eradicating environmental weeds, removing rubbish and implementing water saving strategies.
Long-time Rip Curl team member Dianne McCall has participated in Planet Day every year since it began in 2000, and loves seeing the difference the work has made.
“The day is a great opportunity to socialise and work with people who you wouldn’t normally see in the office whilst also having a positive impact on the coast,” she said.
Local environmental volunteer groups and land managers work to ensure that progress made by the Rip Curl crew is maintained through ongoing conservation works and programs throughout the year.
Rip Curl has a strong determination to be environmentally responsible and encourages everyone to demonstrate environmental stewardship. What are some of the things you do to protect our coast? Let us know in the comments below.
GORCC’s 2015-2020 Native Vegetation and Weed Action Plan (NVWAP) has been released.
GORCC engaged locally based consultant Beacon Ecological to lead the revision of original 2009 NVWAP. The updated 2015 NVWAP will guide GORCC’s on-ground conservation work over the next five years and aims to protect and enhance ecological values along the 37km of coast under GORCC’s care.
GORCC Environmental Projects Coordinator Alex MacDonald said the updated plan sees a continued focus on the eradication of weeds which are identified as the key threat to coastal biodiversity.
“Weeds have been identified as the number one threat to GORCC coast management.
“It is a widespread issue which is difficult to combat without a sustained and coordinated effort,” she said.
The revision and development process included consultation with local environmental volunteer groups, land managers and other key stakeholders.
Ms. MacDonald said GORCC and environmental volunteers had made significant progress in combatting invasive weeds along the Surf Coast, but that weed eradication remained a big challenge.
“Invasive species can have devastating impacts on the biodiversity on GORCC managed land, which is why it is important to develop and implement an effective action plan for future management,” she said.
To view the plan, click here. Interested in learning more about environmental volunteering on the coast? Click here to find out how.
How do you plan to overcome the weeds in your backyard? Let us know in the comments below!
The Surf Coast Nature Search (SCNS), an interactive, online search tool for identifying weeds and indigenous plants in our region, has been launched.
The online resource, which has been developed by local volunteer group Jan Juc Coast Action (JJCA), is a detailed database of hundreds of indigenous plants and environmental weeds on the coast between Point Impossible and Bells Beach.
Users are able to search based on a range of criteria including plant type, flower colour, size, leaf shape and more.
JJCA Chairperson Luke Hynes said the website is a great local asset for locals that will help support an increase in environmental awareness.
“The SCNS database has been a dream of the JJCA group for many years,” he said.
To date, JJCA volunteers have added 181 plant species to database, which is expected to grow as species are added and the tool extends to include fauna and cover more areas of the Surf Coast.
“It’s exciting to think that people with a limited understanding of botanical terms will now be able to identify local plants, pinpoint environmental weeds in their backyard and learn more about the environmental impacts and benefits of particular species,” said Mr. Hynes.
JJCA group volunteer Graeme Stockton said one of the aims of the database is to help coastal property owners create environmentally friendly gardens.
“The SCNS is a simple tool for identifying environmental weeds in your garden and selecting indigenous alternatives,” he said.
Weeds, which easily escape from local gardens, have been identified as the number one threat to the natural environment on the coast due to their ability to out compete indigenous species.
“Indigenous plants are vital, providing vital habitat for local birds and animals,” said Mr. Stockton.
Mr Hynes said the group had worked hard with locally based web design experts Boojum to ensure the platform was as interactive and easy to navigate as possible.
“Our biggest challenge was trying to incorporate complex plant characteristics in a searchable format that is flexible and user friendly,” he said.
Despite the cold weather, winter is the perfect time to combat the spread of environmental weeds and revegetate residential gardens with beautiful (native-animal-attracting) indigenous species.
Environmental weeds are plants that displace native vegetation which impacts the vitality of indigenous flora and fauna. Surprisingly, many environmental weeds are popular garden plants that have grown to become major threats to the biodiversity in the natural environment.
Common garden plants such as Agapanthus, Arum Lily, Gazania and Freesia are all environmental weeds that are detrimental to native flora and fauna.