Lorne and Aireys Inlet P-12 College students have partnered with the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) to regenerate the Erskine Paddock area in Lorne as part of the Coast Guardians Program – a free educational program, which aims to increase environmental awareness in local schools. Read more
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was written by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee and published in the Surf Coast Time’s Going Green Column.