Make your selfie a safe one


Living in the world of smartphones and selfies, there is a constant desire to take the perfect pic for every moment.

At Great Ocean Road Coast, we’re trying to make your memory of the Great Ocean Road a safer one, which is why we are seeking your feedback on what to do at the Memorial Arch site in Eastern View.  Read more

Fresh Air Kids – Term 2 | Week 2


The Fresh Air Kids is a group of local families that want their children to spend time in the great outdoors, learning through playing in nature.

A community partnership with the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, Fresh Air Kids aims to encourage local coastal kids to grow up observing the environment in more detail than even most adults do. Read more

Push for community to aid pest effort


Foxes are highly adaptable, resilient and cunning pests that prey on both native wildlife and livestock and are considered a threat to 14 species of birds, 48 mammals, 12 reptiles and two species of amphibians.

IMAG0092
A fox caught was spotted using infrared cameras in September last year. Foxes have been known to take shelter in coastal vegetation and around homes.

These predators have been declared ‘established invasive animals’ by the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, and a single fox can consume thousands of native animals every year.

You can help to deter the predatory pests and support Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) and Surf Coast Shire Council fox control efforts by removing potential food and shelter sources from your property.

Surf Coast Shire Council Mayor, Cr Rose Hodge, said foxes were opportunistic, meaning people could easily unwittingly feed or shelter the pests.

“Within our coastal environments and around our homes, there is an abundance of food available for foxes,” Cr Hodge said.

Vanessa Pike Fox 3.jpg
The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has played a significant role in the decline of ground-nesting birds, small mammals and reptiles. Photo: Vanessa Pike

“We can all help reduce these food sources by minimising the amount of food left outside, particularly overnight, by covering compost, ensuring rubbish bins are fully closed and cleaning up fallen fruit regularly.”

GORCC Environmental Projects Coordinator Alex MacDonald said homeowners should remove structures around their property where foxes may seek refuge or shelter including woody weeds such as boxthorn and blackberries, rubbish piles and old machinery.

“Fencing off rock piles, building materials, hay bales, woodpiles, and underneath houses will also help reduce hiding places foxes can live in,” she said.

GORCC and Council are working together to reduce fox numbers on the coast, with GORCC leading intensive on-ground eradication efforts and monitoring programs in coastal areas with Council funding support.

Council also runs separate fox eradication initiatives on land it manages as part of its annual pest plant and animal programs.

“Fox control requires an ongoing effort and our best chance of reducing numbers on the Surf Coast is for communities and land managers to work together,” said Ms. MacDonald.

Foxes are a particular threat to local, beach nesting Hooded Plovers, with the predators thought to have been behind the disappearance of multiple chicks, eggs and adult birds over the past two years.

“Point Impossible, Point Roadknight and Moggs Creek are being particularly targeted as these sites are known Hooded Plover breeding zones,” said Ms. MacDonald

For more information on pests on the coast and how you can help visit www.gorcc.com.au or www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au.

How do you help deter foxes and pest animals around your home? Let us know in the comments below. 

 

 

Friends support sea research


Friends of Point Addis (FoPA) volunteers are working with Parks Victoria to monitor the health of marine national parks as part of a state-wide coastal data collection project.

The Sea Search program is a Parks Victoria initiative which sees local volunteer groups conduct research into marine wildlife populations and environmental processes in marine protected areas.

Counting the number of algae and invertebrate species, particularly sea snails, has been FoPA’s main focus since becoming involved in the program.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Parks Victoria’s Sea Search program is an initiative which sees local volunteer groups conduct research into marine wildlife populations and environmental processes in marine protected areas. Photo: Luka-Lesosky Hay

Parks Victoria Ranger Peter Hayes hopes the data collected will be used to support efforts to tackle environmental threats and to encourage others to take responsibility for their coastline.

“The information we gather will help us to identify the number of different species, especially algae and invertebrates, in the area and to monitor their health,” he said.

Pest species are also identified, with information collected used to assist in the prevention of outbreaks and reduction of threats.

“We are also tracking a number of invasive species with particular focus on the Northern Pacific sea star and Japanese Kelp,” said Mr. Hayes.

FoPA President Bronwyn Spark said the ongoing program will provide reliable data about the number of species local to Point Addis and how to protect them.

“The data we collect will tell us what is living in our backyard and will be reported back to the community.

“The project has provided FoPA with more information than ever before about the variety of species in the area,” she said.

“The program’s ongoing nature results in a good snapshot of the health of the area and helps us to identify if a trend is seasonal or long term,” said Mr. Hayes.

Parks Victoria provides an experienced ranger and equipment to support volunteers as they conduct the comprehensive research.

“Sea Search is about getting people in the marine sanctuaries, discovering what is there, teaching people to identify the different species and helping educate others,” Mr Hayes said.

More information on the program is available at Parks Victoria.

To learn more about the Friends of Point Addis and other environmental volunteer groups operating across our region, visit www.gorcc.com.au.

Have you thought of volunteering? Visit our website for more information.

Connections make light work of coastal erosion


As a small group comprising only five to six volunteers at the time, Anglesea Coast Action was pondering the problem of how to find the resources needed to control erosion in a popular coastal reserve.

The group had developed a solution that involved lining a stormwater drainage channel with rock, which sounded simple enough. Implementing that solution would, however, take at least a year of monthly working bees due to the small number of hands available to do the work.

Through Coast Action/Coastcare, the group established a connection with some young university students staying at a local camp who had expressed a desire to do some voluntary work in the area.

The students readily agreed to help Anglesea Coast Action and, within one hour, the task was finished (about 40-metres of rock lining).

The benefits of the students’ involvement went way beyond providing the extra hands and muscle to get the job done.

A strong sense of camaraderie between the young students and the more mature volunteers contributed to an enjoyable experience for all concerned. The students seemed to gain a great deal of satisfaction in helping to look after the coast, which uplifted the spirits of the Coast Action members.

Anglesea Coast Action has since replanted the area with indigenous species, with the result attracting much positive feedback from the local community, including residents, visitors, volunteers and land managers.

This experience illustrates:

  • the benefits of partnerships, in terms of bringing others into projects to work together – many hands really do make light work
  • the importance of having an experienced and responsible group leader to organise and coordinate project activities
  • the need to plan ahead to ensure the activity is well organised and run on the day – the logistics of this project were important, particularly in relation to sourcing materials and equipment, and supervising volunteers, and
  • the positive outcomes achieved through good communication, including gaining the approval and support of relevant land manager/s.

Story provided by Carl Rayner, Anglesea Coast Action

Our coast’s future in good hands


It may be stating the obvious but recent days have provided us with a timely reminder about the future of our coast – and indeed our world – lying with the adults of tomorrow, being the young people of today. Torquay College students planting the dunes.

What a delight then to see eager and enthusiastic Torquay College students hard at work and play down at White’s Beach this week as part of an ongoing partnership between the school, ourselves and the Marine Discovery Centre at Queenscliff. The sound of children’s voices ringing through the dunes was music to the ears while the sight of youngsters involved in coastal conservation activities while learning was a pleasure to behold.

For several years now, scores of local school children have learnt about the fragility and importance of our coast’s dune systems through their participation in the Dune Edu-Action program. The program’s focus on learning by doing sees the students undertaking a range of activities aimed at protecting our coast’s increasingly vulnerable dunes. Such activities include laying brush matting to minimise erosion and planting local indigenous plant species to restore native vegetation cover. Trent with Torquay College students working to protect the dunes

We are a proud partner in this program – providing plants, tools, materials and onsite supervision – and see it as providing a vital foundation to nurturing our coast’s future custodians.

Perhaps it was a similar program that planted the seed during their past primary school days for current students from Deakin University and Gordon Institute of TAFE to take the lead in creating a new coastal volunteer group in Ocean Grove. It was so exciting to hear during the past week about this initiative, which sees the students working in partnership with their local community, Barwon Coast Committee and Coast Action/Coastcare to encourage a fresh approach to caring for the coast. Torquay College students planting out the dunes.

These enterprising young adults are hoping a film night at 7.30pm on Thursday 5 August at the Ocean Grove Chicken Shop inspires other locals, young and old alike, to join them in looking after their patch of Victoria’s beautiful coastline. We applaud them for their initiative and wish them well in this important endeavour.

It’s so heartening to see local young people taking such active roles in caring for the coast as indicated by these two events. It reassures us that the future of our coast – and indeed our world – is in good hands!

We are grateful to Torquay College for providing us with the beautiful photos above and allowing us to reproduce them with this blog.