Vandals trash Jan Juc woodland


The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee is calling on the community to help put an end to the damage caused by illegal party sites in threatened Moonah woodlands along the coastal clifftops at Jan Juc.

Illegal access and campfires were again discovered in the sensitive vegetation, causing significant environmental damage in the protected area and placing lives at risk. Read more

Students think local for national event


Torquay College students got their hands dirty last week for Planet Ark’s Schools Tree Day, planting around 450 plants at Cosy Corner.

GORCC conservation worker Evan Francis with Torquay College student Indiana Colledge, helping to plant a Coastal Moonah Woodland as part of conservation activities organised by the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre.
GORCC conservation worker Evan Francis with Torquay College student Indiana Colledge, helping to plant a Coastal Moonah Woodland as part of conservation activities organised by the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre.

National Tree Day is Australia’s largest tree planting event.

Each year, over 200,000 people take part in activities held on 3000 sites and organised by council, schools, businesses, communities and Toyota Dealers across the country.

The day was run as part of a week of annual conservation activities organised by the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre (MDC) in partnership with The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC).

The annual coastal re-vegetation program has been run by the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre since 1986 and this year the activities were run in conjunction with the national Planet Ark event.

GORCC conservation officer Georgie Beale said the students planted native trees, shrubs and grasses.

“The children were planting a Coastal Moonah Woodland which is an endangered plant community in the area.

“Local families use this beautiful space and it’s great to get the local kids involved in their local community and environment,” she said.

Ms.Beale said the activity was a truly collaborative effort.

“The program also involved four land management groups, five community nurseries, BirdLife Australia and indigenous cultural education officers,” she said.

Participating in National Tree Day is just one of the many ways the community can get hands on in the protection of our local coast.

“Local environmental volunteer groups are always seeking new members and people able to lend them a hand – even for an hour or two,” said Ms. Beale.

Torquay College students (L-R) Jarrah Hirris-Moore, Joff Newton and Jay Newton enjoying their time on the coast planting a Coastal Moonah Woodland at Cosy Corner.
Torquay College students (L-R) Jarrah Hirris-Moore, Joff Newton and Jay Newton enjoying their time on the coast planting a Coastal Moonah Woodland at Cosy Corner.

For schools or groups, GORCC runs a free Environmental Education Program offering a range of hands-on and theory based learning activities and conservation volunteer work.

“Anyone with a love of the outdoors and a passion for the environment can take part in volunteering along the coast and start making a difference.

“You don’t have to be experienced or an expert, there’s plenty of opportunities for everyone no matter what age you are,” Ms Beale said.

For information on National Tree Day visit  www.treeday.planetark.org or call their hotline on 1300 885 000.  To learn more about GORCC’S Environmental Education Program or coastal volunteering opportunities, visit www.gorcc.com.au .

This story featured in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast Column on the 6th August 2013.

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gorcc-1There’s an environmental education opportunity out there for you!

Lend a hand! Joint effort at Anglesea


View over Anglesea, including the site where conservation works are set to take place this Friday.

This Friday an army of volunteers will descend on the coast at Anglesea, planting precious Moonah trees and forming a human chain gang as they transport mulch up the dunes.

The project, which is part of an annual conservation day organised by the Torquay Landcare Group,  is a joint effort between a number of groups and organisations, demonstrating the difference that can be made through coordinated  action. Torquay Landcare will be joined by the Anglesea, Aireys Inlet Society for the Protection of Flora and Fauna (ANGAIR), the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) and others while Quiksilver is generously providing funding support and around 20 staff volunteers.

Quiksilver gives  staff 2 volunteer leave days each year where staff are encouraged to get out of the office and do something positive for the community. The revegetation day is on the Quiksilver Foundation Event Calender every year.  The organisation has been working with these groups now for over 6 years and at the Anglesea site for 3 consecutive years.

Coastal Moonah Woodland is listed as a threatened community under the Flora Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and the group aims to rehabilitate the area in an effort to restore it to its former glory.

Anyone can get involved – so if you love the coast and want to roll up your sleeves (plus have a great day out!) feel free to come along and join in.  The day starts at 9am (meet at the foot of the stairs at the Surf Beach dunes – opposite Red Till)  and lunch is provided at the Anglesea Surf Lifesaving Club at 1pm.   For more information contact Rhonda from Torquay Landcare on 0428 374 610.

If you can’t make it tomorrow, then there’s always next year! The annual event is set to occur on Spring Creek in 2013, so stay tuned!

To learn more about coastal volunteering in our region, visit our webpage here.

Joint force protects threatened woodlands


Anglesea Coast Action (ACA ) has joined forces with other coastal volunteer groups, students, a local business and local land managers to protect threatened Coastal Moonah Woodlands.

ACA secretary Carl Rayner said the work, which is focused on the sand dunes at Main Beach Anglesea, was necessary protect nearby Moonah Woodlands from the devastating impact of environmental weeds.

“Birds transfer seeds via their droppings into the woodland and the weeds then grow, eventually taking over the area by sucking all the moisture out of the soil and killing the Moonah trees,” said Mr Rayner.

Year nine students from St Bernard’s Catholic Boys College in Essendon assist ACA in their conservation work each year.

Students can be seen dragging cut vegetation from the sand dunes to the car park for mulching and using bow saws to cut smaller shrubs and trees.

Year 9 student volunteers from St Bernards Catholic Boys College Essendon working at Anglesea Main Beach.

St Bernard’s Campus Director Mark Smith said the project was an outdoor education experience for students and that for some it was their first experience of the coastal environment.

“The students gain an understanding of the natural environment and engage with the community and it provides them with great insight into coastal management,” he said.

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Conservation Team organises the mulching of cut vegetation after working bees, which is then recycled for use at the time of planting.

Conservation Officer Georgie Beale said Coastal Moonah Woodlands were listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, which identifies them as a threatened ecological community and a high conservation priority.

“Our team works to protect and enhance Moonah plant communities on a regular basis by removing environmental weeds along a wide range of sites right along the coast,” she said.

Once the site has been prepared, the Torquay Landcare Group facilitates approximately 40 staff volunteers from Quicksilver to plant 1500 indigenous plants in one day.

Torquay Landcare Group (TLG) member Rhonda Bunbury said that for four years, Quiksilver Foundation has sponsored Torquay Landcare in the group’s re-vegetation projects.

“It’s a fun day as well as hard work but there is a reward in watching the dunes come back to life with plants that belong in the dunes’ environment and which enrich the dune habitat,” said Ms Bunbury.

The project is supported by a $4,300 grant from the Coastal Small Grants program at the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.

The ACA group meets on the second Saturday of each month at the Motor Yacht Club Point Roadknight for a working bee held 10am to 12noon. Anyone who would like to get involved can contact Carl Rayner on (03) 5263 2193 or (03) 9331 2810 email: crayner3@gmail.com.

This story was written by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee and published in the Surf Coast Time’s Going Green Column.