Its a hoodie life (and some incredible hoodie facts)

Did you know that without active management, Hooded Plovers (aka ‘hoodies’) only have a 2.5% chance of survival from egg to adult?  Or that hoodies breed as a pair, with both male and female taking turns to incubate the eggs? Read more

#SaveTheHoodie and Win!

Local businesses Ghanda Clothing Torquay and Go Ride A Wave (GRAW) have thrown support behind the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s (GORCC’s) #SaveTheHoodie campaign to encourage protection of the threatened Hooded Plover during their 2015/16 breeding season. Read more

Volunteers rip into environmental protection

80 Rip Curl employees have joined forces with locals to protect the coastline as part of an annual event that has seen more than 80,000 indigenous plants planted on the Surf Coast over 14 years.

Enthusiastic Rip Curl staff from the Torquay Head Office worked at a range of sites including Point Impossible, Bells Beach, Bird Rock, and Whites Beach.

Rip Curl staff were divided in to 6 teams, coordinated by volunteers from Surfers Appreciating the Natural Environment (SANE), Jan Juc Coast Action, Torquay Coast Action and staff from the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC).

Rip Curl staff Aloise Bersan, Sam O'Dwyer and Robbie Cullen aren't afraid to get their hands dirty on the 2014 Rip Curl Planet Day.
Rip Curl staff Aloise Bersan, Sam O’Dwyer and Robbie Cullen aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty on the 2014 Rip Curl Planet Day.

Rip Curl CEO Stephan Kay said the results give him a sense of achievement and pride.

“It’s great to see the transformation of the coastal foreshore that’s occurred as a result of these efforts.

“I love seeing the regenerated sections of the coast that Rip Curl employees have worked on when I’m going for a surf or walking the cliffs,” Mr Kay said.

Each year, Rip Curl gives back to the community and demonstrates a strong commitment to the local environment by giving their employees the opportunity to participate in a paid work day of volunteering.

Rip Curl employees completed a river clean-up and planting day at Spring Creek, one of many locations targeted on the Day,
Rip Curl employees completed a river clean-up and planting day at Spring Creek, one of many locations targeted on the Day.

Planet Day Director Mark Flanagan said the primary focus of the event is to positively contribute to the public spaces in and around the Surf Coast.

“We liaise with the community groups that help manage the areas throughout the whole year and work under their guidelines,” he said.

GORCC Environmental Projects Coordinator Alex Sedger said Rip Curl is a strong advocate for environmental protection.

“The event allows a major global company to give back to the coastal environment, engage their staff, and raise awareness around local environmental issues.

The Rip Curl staff and volunteers were involved in indigenous tree planting, weed eradication, and coastal cleanup works across two days

“The Rip Curl employees weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty in planting and weeding works, and some went to extreme lengths to collect rubbish in Spring Creek using stand up paddle boards,” said Ms. Sedger.

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The Rip Curl team makes cleaning fun using paddle boards along Spring Creek.

 

Ms. Sedger said a number of unexpected items of rubbish were discovered.

“A car battery, bull-bar and about 50 golf balls were removed in the process,” she said.

Click here for further information on the Rip Curl Planet Day, or here to find out how you can start volunteering along the surf coast.

School project protects Point Impossible

Northern Bay College students have planted over 250 indigenous plants at Point Impossible as part of a local environmental education program, benefiting both participants and the coast.

Northern Bay College students have been working on the site over the past three years as part of the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Coast Guardians Program.

Students admire the handy work of the previous Northern Bay College group with GORCC Activity Education Leader Peter Crowcroft (far right).
Students admire their handy work with GORCC Activity Education Leader Peter Crowcroft (far right).

The most recent student group spent three weeks rehabilitating 1000sqm of coast with both the local environment and students enjoying the benefits, with observations of increased confidence and improved communication skills.

GORCC Education Activity Leader Peter Crowcroft, who works with several schools as part of the program, says the hands-on nature of the activities have more impact on teenagers than a lesson in the classroom normally would.

“The kids get a lot out of it – they begin to appreciate and understand the environment instead of taking it for granted,” he said.

Northern Bay College students aren't afraid to get their hands dirty, laying mulch over soil to provide moisture to indigenous plant species.
Northern Bay College students aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, laying mulch over soil to provide moisture to indigenous plant species.

Northern Bay Physical Education Teacher Shane Thompson said he believes more schools should incorporate the environment in to their curriculum.

“The knowledge that students gain will stay with them through to when they become adults and the positive messages will hopefully spread to their peers in years to come.

“It gives them something to take an interest in outside their usual environment and the element of community service looks great on their resume,” he said.

Over the past three years, Northern Bay College students have been working to revegetate the Point Impossible area with indigenous species such as the Olearia plant, which spreads by shooting off parachute-like seeds.

“The Olearia is a species we have used very successfully. In the right conditions it can rejuvenate the environment quickly and self sustainably,” he said.

GORCC activity Education Leader Peter Crowcroft (back right) with Northern Bay College Teacher Shane Thompson (chequered shirt) and students with self-sustaining Olearia plant.
GORCC activity Education Leader Peter Crowcroft (back right) with Northern Bay College Teacher Shane Thompson (chequered shirt) and students with self-sustaining Olearia plant.

The group has also enjoyed a variety of other activities ranging from studying organisms inhabiting the rocky shores to learning about the Barwon river estuary and its unique inhabitants.

Northern Bay College student Nicole Craig said she looks forward to the activities each week.

“It’s heaps of fun – I love being around a small group and getting to know people better,” she said.

GORCC Activity Education Leader Peter Crowcroft with satisfied Northern Bay College students after laying 100m of mulch along coastal soil.
GORCC Activity Education Leader Peter Crowcroft with satisfied Northern Bay College students after laying 100m of mulch along coastal soil.

Student James Griffiths says Coast Guardians days are more exciting than routine school days.

“I don’t like school because it’s boring but I love guardian days; I get to have fun and make friends.”

If you would like to see your school become more involved in the environment, why not join the Coast Guardians program?

To get involved or for more information regarding GORCC’s free environmental education programs, visit www.gorcc.com.au.