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Volunteer news, stories and upcoming events - September edition
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GORCC Coastal Volunteer Bulletin

This bulletin is being published by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) quarterly and is a source of news and information for all those interested in environmental volunteering on the coast.

If you have a story you would like to share, please contact Rachael Brodie on rachael.b@gorcc.com.au
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ANGAIR Wildflower and Art Weekend

It’s back! The annual ANGAIR Wildflower and Art weekend will be held this September

When: 17-18 September 10am – 4pm
Where: Anglesea Memorial Hall, McMillan Street, Anglesea
Attractions:
  • Spectacular displays of indigenous flowers
  • ‘Roaming Reptiles’ live display all weekend
  • Guided wildflower walks and bus tours
  • Indigenous plants for sale
  • Book stalls
  • Children’s activities
  • The Fire Game
And much, much more!

ANGAIR committee member Peter Forster said the new Fire Game developed by the Surf Coast Shire in conjunction with the CFA, was a great game to raise fire awareness in the community.

“It makes you think and is a great game for people of all ages,” Mr Forster said.

So come along and check out this great family friendly event! More info, visit www.angair.org.au

Soapy Rocks restoration enters next phase

A $7,500 Coastcare Community Grant will allow restoration works to continue at Soapy Rocks in Anglesea.  The funding will help further treatment works for the major weed infestation in what is difficult coastal terrain. Works include the removal of the large woody weeds to allow the revegetation of the area with indigenous plants.  

Students from St Bernard Catholic College will continue to assist ANGAIR with the restoration of the Soapy Rocks area, including tasks such as mulching and planting.
 

Joint Lorne working bees - Queens Park

The annual joint working bee is on with both environmental volunteer groups partnering to tackle the aggressive Cape Broom weed at Queens Park over the next 3 months.

When: Sunday 18 September | 10am
            Sunday 16 October | 10am 
Where: Meet at Teddy’s Lookout
Contact info: John Wilson 03 5289 1689 or Michael Callanan 03 5289 1886 

Lornecare Co-convenor Michael Callanan said this year was the best year for pulling the invasive weed due to the soft soil from all the rain and encourages all locals to get involved.

"It's the best time of the year to prevent Cape Broom from re-establishing its presence in the iconic park," he siad. 

New look for track signs

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) has been working closely with the Friends of Queens Park to upgrade tracks and signage in the park.  Feedback is now being sought on the proposed track routes, names and the new visual style and logos for the park. 
 
GORCC’s Environment and Education Manager Alex MacDonald said that significant environmental work had been completed.
 
“This investment in the park is really tribute to hours of work from the Friends of Queens Park, GORCC and volunteers,” said Mrs MacDonald.  “While many people know the park for the iconic Teddy’s Lookout, when completed, we’re hoping to create a truly great visitor experience on the coast, at the top end of Lorne.”
 
President of the Friends of Queens Park John Wilson said it was an exciting time for the park and Lorne community.
 
“Our primary focus is on conservation, but we recognise we need to engage more with visitors, especially international travellers so that we offer an experience that is enjoyable, friendly, and interesting while being educational.”
 
“Through signage and track improvements, hopefully the Queens Park visit will be a memorable experience, and also one that arouses a sense of awe and curiosity in seeing biodiversity working.  All this contributes to understanding conservation.”
 
Have your say by emailing: info@gorcc.com.au by 30 September 2016.
 
For more information visit GORCC at www.gorcc.com.au.
 

Surf Coast Nature Search gets a boost

The Jan Juc Coast Action (JJCA) online plant database initiative is set to receive an update after securing an $8,500 Corangamite Coastal Management Authority (CCMA) Coastal Small grant. 

The Surf Coast Nature Search is an interactive, online search tool for identifying weeds and indigenous plants in our region, and was launched in August 2015. 

The grant will allow JJCA in conjunction with SANE (Surfers Appreciating the Natural Environment) to expand and update the current website to include more plant species from all across the Surf Coast, as well as fauna species in a more interactive platform.

The next steps for the website are:
  • Include a searchable fauna component
  • Include plants from all of the surf coast, not just the Jan Juc to Bells Beach coastline in conjunction with ANGAIR who already have an extensive database from books they have published.
  • Include an interactive component to the website which would include a user login so users can record which plants an animals they have seen.  
The online resource has already proven to be an important tool for school groups, environmental volunteers, Green Army participants and more with hundreds of local indigenous plants and environmental weeds identified on the website.

Success on weeds

Environmental volunteer group Lornecare is celebrating an environmental victory on the war weeds at Erskine River after much help from the winter rain.

Lornecare Co-Convenor Michael Callanan said the river mouth is looking the best it has in two decades after significant weed removal and revegetation works over the years.

“The results are very evident this year after the heavy rains have helped clear up the algae and rocks in the river and through the process of self-regeneration the area is looking fantastic.”
 

Revegetation work granted       

A $7,500 Coastcare Grant has also been awarded to Torquay Coast Action to complete the second phase of the Deep Creek Estuary restoration which will create a corridor for native wildlife along the Surf Coast Walk.  Torquay Coast Action will work closely with GORCC and the Green Army team to implement weed control and revegetation at the location to link in with work previously conducted in the area.

Torquay Coast Action President Glenda Shomaly said the grant allowed the group to create a visible and lasting impact on the coastal environment.

“The site has been in a depleted condition following earthworks to repair the bridge and install the new storm water outlet, she said.  “These works will continue to help improve the conservation value of the area and enhance native habitat in the depleted coastal dune scrub.”

Works will include weed control, laying of jute mat to help stabilise the soil and planting with indigenous vegetation with follow up maintenance conducted by GORCC and Torquay Coast Action.

The Coastcare Community Grants Program aims to fund projects with clear environmental benefits and supports the conservation of habitat preservation and revegetation.

To find out how you can get involved in environmental volunteering, contact GORCC at www.gorcc.com.au.

Hoodie help hails from England

Hooded Plover support has emerged from Dorset, England to join the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s (GORCC) #SaveTheHoodie campaign.

English artist John Lloyd relished the opportunity to create a unique drawing of the Hooded Plovers to help conservation efforts along the Surf Coast.

The #SaveTheHoodie campaign aims to raise awareness about the vulnerability of the Hooded Plover and help change beachgoer behaviour to give the shorebirds space near breeding zones.

Mr Lloyd was inspired by the Australian landscape and wildlife when he visited in 2006 and has since used his artistic abilities to raise awareness for wildlife conservation and protection.

“I’m extremely proud to be involved in wildlife conservation and make a positive influence to something I am so passionate about.

“Drawing gives me so much enjoyment and relaxation, and I get the same feeling when I spend time with nature, so I’m lucky to be able to combine my two passions in life," he said.

Read the full interview on our blog. 

There's more to volunteering than weeding...

Interested in getting involved with your local community?

ANGAIR offers a variety of community activities including environmental working bees, plant study groups, bird watching groups, plant propagation, nature walks and more!

Contact the ANGAIR office on 03 52663 1085 to find out more, or visit their www.angair.org.au!
 

Some words from Georgie...

The past few months have been very busy and we have been putting the Green Army team to work along the Surf Coast. Substantial woody weed removal has been undertaken at Soapy Rocks, Queens Park, north Lorne and Fisherman's Beach, with revegetation works to follow. 

The Deep Creek revegetation marks a major milestone for the Torquay Coast Action group, in particular Glenda Shomaly, who has diligently led the group's revegetation works from Point Impossible to Deep Creek over the past two decades. This is an enormous effort, and one we are certainly very enormously grateful for!

The GORCC education program is rapidly expanding and we are seeing more school groups visiting the coast everyday for their hands on experience, which is a great step forward in inspiring our environmental stewardship in the next generation.

I would personally like to thank all our wonderful volunteers for your continual dedication and commitment to preserving our precious coast. Without your contribution, we would not be able to achieve half the conservation work we can tackle together. Looking forward to seeing you all out and about as the weather starts to warm up! 

Georgie Beale 
GORCC Conservation Supervisor
Do you have a story you would like to share? Email our Communications Officer Rachael Brodie at rachael.b@gorcc.com.au, we'd love to hear from you!
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