New group protects sanctuary


The new Friends of the Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary group is seeking members and set for an official launch in February while spectacular underwater footage of the area has been released.

The newly formed volunteer group has been working with Parks Victoria and Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) to produce a short film showcasing marine life protected by the sanctuary.

The Surfcoast's newsest volunteer group - Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary group
The Surfcoast’s newsest volunteer group – Friends of the Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary

Founding members of the Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary group snorkelled with the cameraman and guided him to special parts of the sanctuary to produce underwater footage which showcases an array of marine life.

Parks Victoria’s Alicia Ivory said the film gives visitors a snapshot of what is beneath the waves in the sanctuary.

“Many visitors come for a photo and a look around the lighthouse but might never get a chance to get out into the water and see the marine life our sanctuary protects.

“It is a fantastic way to show people the different creatures making use of the area and what we all need to do to make sure they are safe and protected,” she said.

Watch the footage below!

 

90% of the plants and animals showcased in the video are only found along the southern coastline of Australia.

Ms. Ivory said these areas provide an important refuge for a number of rare and threatened marine animals and plants.

“Much of our marine life is found nowhere else in the world,” Ms Ivory said.

The film is accessible via QR barcodes on interpretive signage which has been installed above the marine sanctuary or directly via the GORCC website.

Visitors to the Split Point Lookout can take a photo of the barcode with their smart phone to instantly view the footage.

Interpretive signs installed by GORCC at Split Point Lookout.
Interpretive signs installed by GORCC at Split Point Lookout.

Manager of EcoLogic and Friends of Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary founding member Sharon Blum-Caon said the group currently consists of six founding members and new participants are welcome.

“We catch up for snorkeling, rock pool ramblings, social events, coastal vegetation rehabilitation and photography,” she said.

Everyone is welcome at the official launch to be held on 9 February 2013 and attendees will receive a free Friends of Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary pack including a T-shirt printed with an image of the sanctuary’s iconic Port Jackson Shark.

For more information contact Sharon on: 0412 257 802 or email tours@ecologic.com.au.

This story featured in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast column.

For further details on volunteering along the coast, view the GORCC volunteer page.

Related blogs:

 Leather jacketSurf Coast hidden wonderland
Explore underwater Victoria Explore underwater Victoria
 volunteering summerVolunteering on the coast this summer

Community vital to coast research


A new community-based environmental research initiative is helping to monitor long term vegetation and landscape change on our coast.

The Fluker Post at Lorne Point

The Fluker Post Research program, which involves monitoring change on selected sites through photography, has been established by the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA) and Victoria University .

Participants are being invited to submit photos taken from the post to track how a project site changes over time.

CCMA coastal projects officer Jannes Demetrious said it is a great way for the community, and even those just passing by a site, to take part in an important environmental project.

“All you need to do is take a photo and email it in. Photos can be taken with a digital camera and emailed later or with a Smartphone and emailed directly using the barcode scanner QR code on the post,” he said.

The posts have been installed for several months and already the project has received a positive response.

“We were expecting one or two photos a month but so far we have received about 20-25 photos from the posts a month,” said Mr. Demetrious

The posts are named after Victoria University’s Dr Martin Fluker who developed the idea to improve the accuracy of photo point monitoring.

Changes to vegetation are being monitored whilst rehabilitation work is undertaken on the sites and will continue for up to 5-10 years.

Mr Demetrious said this is the first use of these posts to monitor vegetation condition.

“We hope to see a decrease in weedy vegetation and we can document any erosion if it’s occurring,” he said.

There are currently five posts located on Great Ocean Road Coast Committee managed areas and two more installed on Surf Coast Shire managed areas.

Posts are located at Torquay’s Rocky Point and Yellow Bluff, Aireys Inlet along Painkalac Creek and near the lighthouse, Anglesea’s Fairylands and along Anglesea River and along Lorne Point.

The initiative is funded through the CCMA’s Coastal Tender program, funded by the Australian Government which has funded numerous environmental projects across the region.

The photos can be viewed on the CCMA Facebook page and photos can be submitted to cmmaflukerpost@gmail.com.

This story featured in the the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast column.  

Changes to vegetation are being monitored.

Media Releases:

Read the full media release from CCMA here.

This media release from Victoria University (VU) explains the use of Fluker Posts on the Great Ocean Walk between Blanket Bay and Johanna Beach near Apollo Bay.

More information on Fluker Posts:

Visit the Fluker Post Research Project page on Facebook here.

Images of the CCMA Fluker Posts can be found here.

Great Ocean Road GPS App


Gone are the days when we had to read outdated maps and sift through hundreds of brochures to find out valuable information on our favourite tourist destinations.

A new App called the Great Ocean Road GPS Tour  has been designed for those who both love the Great Ocean Road and technology.

As you travel along the Great Ocean Road in a westerly direction,  the App will act as your own personal guided tour whilst providing you with audio-visual material at specific locations along the route.

This GPS App will help you navigate your way along the beautiful coastline of the Great Ocean Road.

General Information

  • Cost: $6.49
  • Released: 30 March 2012
  • Size: 104 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: MetroView Systems Pty Ltd
  • Compatability: iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. (Requires version iOS 3.1.2 or later)

Where can I find out more?

For further information, please visit the Apple store at http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/great-ocean-road-gps-tour/id511163046?mt=8

Check some more of our blogs on visiting the coast:

Head out now to look out on our spectacular coast! 

What’s not to love about our coast in Winter?

 

Have you used the new GPS App? Give us your reviews and let us know how well it worked for you!