Northern Bay College students lend a hand

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.

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Caring for our precious Coastal Moonah Woodland

Coastal Moonah Woodlands are identifiable by the presence of Moonah trees, with their gnarly wind-twisted branches, as well as other dominant species like Coast Wirilda, Coast Tea-Tree and Coast Beard-heath.

Prior to European settlement, it is thought that Coastal Moonah Woodland may have stretched as far as 5km inland in some areas.  Unfortunately, much of this unique plant community has been lost due to clearing and fragmentation, with less than 10% of its original distribution remaining in Victoria. The Coastal Moonah Woodland plant community is now listed as threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.

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Coast Guardians Forum a day of learning and fun

The 2017 GORCC Coast Guardians Forum was a day of celebration and inspiration for the 140 year 9 students, teachers and staff from the four local schools who attended at the Surf Coast Shire Grant Pavilion in Torquay. The weather was not in our favour, but the spirits were high for a fun-filled day with delicious food, wonderful donated goods as prizes, and local coastal expertise.

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Steps to stay safe on the beach

As summer is fast approaching and the weather is warming up more and more visitors are descending on the coast and it is vital you take extra precautions on our beaches to ensure your safety.

GORCC has been calling for all coastal users to take heed of signage, particularly in areas of shared use such as Fishermans Beach.  Read the full media release.

Enjoy the water safely: 

Ensure you read signs on the beach before entering the water.

If you are thinking about swimming ensure you know which beaches are patrolled or unpatrolled to ensure your safety.

You can view a full list of patrolled beaches and key dates in Victoria on Life Saving Victoria’s website. 

During summer, many of our beaches are patrolled by life savers with red and yellow flags indicating the safest areas to swim at each beach – please swim between the flags.

If you are using an unpatrolled beach, make sure you:

  • Read and obey the safety signs
  • Know how to swim
  • Always swim under supervision or with a friend
  • Check it’s okay to swim before you enter the water, conditions change regularly, and
  • If you are unsure of conditions, ask a lifesaver or give it a miss.

Other tips for ensuring your safety in or by the water can be found on our website.

Take care near cliffs
Many cliffs along the Great Ocean Road coast, particularly in the area between Jan Juc and Point Roadknight, and also at Aireys Inlet, are susceptible to instability. Consequently, you should pay attention to advisory signs, take care near cliffs, keep to designated walking tracks and avoid areas of cliff instability.

Areas of seasonal coastal shoreline erosion can also create unstable, temporary ‘sand cliffs’ which are not like normal cliffs and are more susceptible to collapse.

Protect the coast and others – don’t litter! 

Smoking and glass containers are banned from all beaches.

To ensure the safety of all enjoying the coast this summer and to ensure our coast remains healthy and litter free, especially now during the busier months, please remember smoking and glass containers are banned from all beaches.

Several designated foreshore grass areas are also glass-free between 9pm to 6am from mid-November to end-January each year.

Why we enforce bans:

  • The bans aim to reduce the negative impacts of smoking and glass on our beaches.
  • Cigarette butts are a litter and environmental nuisance while glass is a safety and litter issue. Both cause untold damage to people, wildlife and the coast.

So please do your bit and use the bins located in grassed foreshore areas and adjacent to sand areas to dispose of your butts, bottles and other litter.

Click here for more tips on enjoying the coast safely this summer.

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