Illegal behaviour on coastal reserves such as lighting fires, littering and destroying vegetation is impacting the environment and sparking safety concerns, with the Jan Juc clifftops a particular problem zone. Read more →
Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville said this year’s finalists and award winners have been exemplary.
“I’m proud of how we take real responsibility for the welfare of our coast, which not only improves the health of the environment, but also the livability of our communities.
“It is important we understand the threats to our coastal and marine environments, and the ways in which communities can take action to help limit their impacts,” she said.
Over the past 21 years, JJCA has rehabilitated four kilometers of coastal foreshore and continues to improve this area through monthly working bees conducting activities including the removal of pest species, fencing and revegetation.
In recent years, the group’s focus has shifted from revegetation and access control to targeted threatened species and raising environmental awareness through engaging with the community.
Recently JJCA launched their online searchable plant database the Surf Coast Nature Search, that aims to help support an increase in environmental awareness among locals and holiday makers.
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) works closely with environmental volunteer groups that work on the GORCC managed land and was thrilled to see JJCA receive the award.
GORCC Community Liaison Manager Jane Lovejoy said the award was well deserved and a testament to the hard work volunteers donate each year to protect the coast.
“Volunteer groups continue to be the backbone of GORCC’s conservation efforts with 11 groups working directly on our managed land.
“It is fantastic to see local environmental volunteer groups receive recognition for their consistent contributions to enhancing our precious coastal environment,” she said.
Coastal conservation is everyone’s responsibility. How do you help keep our coast beautiful?
An innovative, searchable plant database is in production thanks to grant funding, donations and the work of Jan Juc Coast Action volunteers.
The online tool, which will allow people to identify indigenous species and environmental weeds growing in the Jan Juc area, will provide in-depth information about local flora.
Jan Juc Coast Action is working with a range of partners on the project, including the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) and Boojum, a local online design business.
The project was recently awarded a GORCC Coastal Grant of $2500 and has also received support through a State Government Coastcare Grant.
Jan Juc Coast Action volunteer Graeme Stockton said the database will help to protect local flora and fauna by allowing coastal property owners to identify environmental weeds in their gardens and offering them indigenous alternatives.
“Environmental weeds are harmful plants that quickly spread to nearby habitats causing severe damage to the fragile coastal environment.
“We only have a thin strip of natural coastal habitat left and residential gardens are located very close to these fragile environments,” he said.
Jan Juc Coast Action hopes the database will be expanded beyond Jan Juc in the future to cover indigenous plants and weeds right along the GORCC managed coast.
“It would be ideal to see this tool expanded to become a comprehensive database of not only flora along GORCC-managed land but fauna as well,” said Mr. Stockton.
Boojum Lead Designer Roland Maxwell who has been working with the volunteers to create the website, has donated hundreds of hours to the project.
“The database will be searchable in a range of ways including flower colour, size, leaf shape and more,” he said.
The platform has been designed to be as flexible and user friendly as possible.
The website is flexible enough to support future growth to the database and potential extensions of the project such as applications for mobile,” said Mr Maxwell.
GORCC is supporting the project through both grant funding and in-kind assistance.
GORCC Community Liaison Manager Jane Lovejoy said the website is set to become an indispensable tool that can be used by volunteers, community members and educators alike.
“This tool will be a fabulous education resource for school groups that we engage through our education programs.
“Additionally, those who love the coast and enjoy walking along the Jan Juc Cliffs and admiring indigenous species will be able to accurately determine what plant they’re looking at,” she said.
More information on coastal volunteering and the GORCC Coastal Grants program is available at www.gorcc.com.au.