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Jan Juc Coast Action (JJCA) is holding the free ‘Insects of Jan Juc’ event this Sunday 7 September.
Plenty of activities will be on offer, including activities for the little ones. Children will have the opportunity to build ‘insect hotels’ as well as colour-in local insects drawn by local artist Amanda Carson.
The day will also include information about JJCA’s latest exciting project – the development of an online plant catalogue which has been funded by the State Government through Coastcare and is supported by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (stay tuned for more on this project to be released soon!)
JJCA President Luke Hynes said the catalogue will be great way for everybody to identify and learn more about the indigenous species they see on the caost.
“It will allow non-specialist groups to identify any indigenous plant species by typing in the visual characteristics identified,”
Mr Hynes said the catalogue is also a good way of encouraging locals to plant native plants in their gardens.
“Those looking for plant ideas for their garden will be able to do a quick search using the desired characteristics and will find matching suggestions,” he said.
The activities will be followed by the JJCA Annual General Meeting and a free barbeque lunch.
Local community groups within the Surf Coast and Bellarine have received a share of over $40, 000 in State Government funding.
The Coastcare Victoria Community Grants Program aims to support local action that protects and enhances coastal environments.
In 2014, local groups including Jan Juc Coast Action, ANGAIR, Torquay Coast Action and Surfers Appreciating Natural Environment have all been recognised and received funding for their conservation projects.
Local environmental volunteer group ANGAIR has received $2, 000 to count towards re-establishing threatened Moonah Woodlands in Anglesea – a project the group has been working on in partnership with GORCC for more than 7 years.
ANGAIR volunteer Bill McKellar said the group had just 200m of site left to rehabilitate, with the funding set to help complete the project.
“When we started, coastal tea tree – a native to Australia but non-indigenous to the area and an invasive weed – had taken over.
“The occasional Moonah and Bearded Heath had survived, however, they were stretched to the limit and competing for space,” he said.
Mr McKellar said the project had been worth seven years of hard work and dedication.
“The results are magic – it really is extraordinary,” he said.
GORCC conservation officer Georgie Beale said the project was one of GORCC’s most successful restoration projects.
“The increase in biodiversity has been significant.
“As their habitat is re-established, native fauna are moving back into the area as evidenced by the increase in tracks and burrows on the site,” she said.
Schools are also playing an important part in the project.
“Many school groups have supported the works through the GORCC Environmental Education Program including Christian College and St Bernard’s College who have dedicated many hours to the project over several years,” she said.
Mr McKellar said the work has resulted in the return of indigenous flora as well.
“Satin Everlasting (Helichrysum Leucopsideum) – a very pretty flower – has reappeared on the site. This is the only place it can be found on the Surf Coast,” he said.
Department of Education and Primary Industries Coastcare co-ordinator Alex Sedger said the contribution of volunteers was integral to coastal management.
“All volunteers are passionate about their special patches, and often work without asking anything for their efforts,” she said.
Want to get involved? Find out more about coastal, environmental volunteering here. ANGAIR welcomes new volunteers, and information on the group and the upcoming Wildflower Weekend can be found at angair.org.au.
Chairperson of Jan Juc Coast Action Luke Hynes said the grant will foster the protection of two state significant flora species and enable them to continue their weed control efforts.
“We will use these funds to assist botanical experts Neil Anderton and Graeme Stockton to propagate the Swamp Diuris and increase the diversity of the Peninsula Daisy-bush in Jan Juc.
“We need to work actively to prevent these species from becoming locally extinct, encourage the recruitment of seedlings, and ensure populations are secure into the future,” he said.
Mr Hynes believes the grant will have significant benefits for the local coastline.
“This grant will benefit our coast by helping us protect local ecological values through weed control and protecting and enhancing these rare plant species,” he said.
The JJCA group works for the preservation and revegetation of the Jan Juc coastline with Indigenous species and the removal of environmental weeds, erosion control and provision of tracks and lookouts.
The group has been been working tirelessly to protect the survival of these precious flora species.
In 2010 the group pollinated Swamp Diuris by hand and collected seed to ensure the survival of the species.
This complex process required members to pollinate the tiny orchid flowers using tooth-picks.
The community can support the group’s efforts and help to ensure survival of these species by planting indigenous flora in their own gardens and removing environmental weeds.
“The invasion of foreign pasture grasses, noxious weeds and escaped garden plants are common threats to these fragile species.
“The Gazania, a common, pretty garden plant, is a particular threat, especially to the Swamp Diuris.
“Most community members don’t realise how easily these garden plants spread and how devastating they are for the environment,” said Mr.Hynes.
For more information on coastal volunteering in our region, visit www.gorcc.com.au. Related blog posts:
Remember a number of measures can be taken to protect the welfare of seals resting on our coast:
• Do not come within 50 meters of a seal on land as they can bite
• Keep dogs on leashes
• Dispose of fishing line correctly to prevent injury and disease
• Notify appropriate authorities if you come across a seal in distress