The Barwon Coast Committee of Management and the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee have joined forces with a simple message for visitors of the coast this summer.
From Ocean Grove on the Bellarine Peninsula to Cumberland River on the Surf Coast, we are asking beachgoers to ‘Share our Shores’.
The Share our Shores campaign focuses on all aspects of equitable use by all types of beach users.
First launched by the Barwon Coast Committee of Management in November 2017, Share our Shores promotes the respect, responsibilities and rights that are important in minimising conflict between different beach users.
Barwon Coast CEO Gary McPike said: “We look after an extremely popular section of the Victorian coastline and need to encourage everyone to help us balance the huge visitor numbers with coastal protection.”
Great Ocean Road Coast CEO Vanessa Schernickau said that Share our Shores is a great opportunity for coastal land managers to work together in promoting respectful use of our natural resources.
“It’s great to be working alongside our friends at Barwon Coast in spreading the Share our Shores message to respect the coast and respect other beachgoers,” said Ms Schernickau.
Summer is a busy time up and down the coast, adding increased pressure on our natural environment. We all love the beach – let’s make sure we can all enjoy it for generations to come.
On Wednesday 5 September, around 160 students from five local schools gathered in Torquay to learn, work-shop ideas and celebrate coastal conservation at the annual Coast Guardians Forum hosted by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee.
The year 9 students from Northern Bay College, Surf Coast Secondary College, Geelong Lutheran College, Lorne Aireys Inlet P-12 College, and Sacred Heart College had a day of guest presenters, exciting activities and prizes as part of the Great Ocean Road Coast’s award-winning Environmental Education Program.
The day featured special presentations from Corrina Eccles, Wadawurrung Aboriginal Corporation; Meg Cullen, Birdlife Australia; Deidre Murphy, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority; Alan Beckhurst, Queenscliff Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre, Victorian Fisheries Authority; Lachlan McKenzie, Eco Logic; Luke Hynes, Jan Juc Coast Action and Sam Marwood, Edge Pledge.
Great Ocean Road Coast Chairman Ken Northwood said educating the next generation about the precious coastal environment was a major priority for the organisation.
“The Coast Guardians program is aimed at increasing awareness around environmental issues and encouraging social responsibility and environmental stewardship. Ultimately, we hope that participants will be able to walk along a well-cared for coastline and enjoy the benefits of their hard work. The program is also aimed at fostering partnerships between the schools, GORCC, local community organisations and local environmental volunteer groups.
“We’re incredibly proud of the achievements of our education program, which has been celebrated with awards by the Victorian Coastal Council and was a finalist in the recent VicParks Awards in the Community Category.”
“These students are making a real contribution to our coastal landscape and support our conservation team, and the tireless efforts of local volunteers.”
GORCC Education Activity Leader Hilary Bouma said the forum will encourage students to reflect on their achievements throughout the year and share their experiences with other schools.
“Each school protects a different environment along the coast and has a different experience to share with the other schools,” she said. “This forum celebrates the students’ personal development and their hands-on contribution to the enhancement of the coast.”
BACKGROUND: COAST GUARDIANS PROGRAM
The Coast Guardians Program is a Great Ocean Road Coast Committee educational opportunity for year 9 students. Every year, the schools involved each take ownership of the rehabilitation and conservation of a coastal site. Schools involved are:
Lorne Aireys P-12 College
Geelong Lutheran College
Northern Bay College
Surf Coast Secondary College
Sacred Heart College.
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee is a State Government Agency responsible for protecting, enhancing, and developing coastal Crown land from Point Impossible to Cumberland River. All funds raised through our commercial endeavours are reinvested back into the coast.
The Bert Alsop Track is a scenic walking track along the Lorne foreshore, linking North Lorne to the town’s centre and offering views across Louttit Bay and is a popular route for cyclists, walkers, and joggers.
Over the past 6 months the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s conservation team has been busy with the woody weed removal that started with the Green Army program in 2016, and the end of 2017 saw all of the woody weeds from the start of the track to the ‘Fat Ladies’ car park removed. This was done with the generous help of a Ford corporate group, LorneCare volunteers, and Great Ocean Road Coast’s conservation and foreshore teams.
A group of year 9 students from Northern Bay College have been doing some fantastic environmental work throughout term one with Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s Coast Guardians program.
The year 9 students have been working closely with Great Ocean Road Coast’s Hilary Bouma, Education Coordinator of the Coast Guardians program, doing a variety of activities in their adopted area of Spring Creek, Torquay.
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s 2018 Coastal Grants Program are now open. Each year, Great Ocean Road Coast dedicates funds for community-led projects that enhance the 37km of coastal Crown land under its management between Torquay and Lorne.