Coast Guardians celebrate, Hoodie season begins and more!
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Welcome to September Coast News

In this edition:


Want more?  Visit our blog to discover in-depth stories & insights from the coast.

Phil Armato from the Queenscliff Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre with students at the touch tank.

Coast Guardians celebrate


Students from four local schools celebrated their commitment to coastal conservation on the Surf Coast at the annual Coast Guardians Forum hosted by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) earlier in September.

The year 9 students from Northern Bay College, Surf Coast Secondary College, Geelong Lutheran College and Lorne Aireys Inlet P-12 College, were rewarded with a day of guest presenters, exciting activities and prizes as part of the GORCC Environmental Education Program.

The day featured special presentations from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Eco Logic, Queenscliff Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre, Streamline Media and Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation with interactive sessions to promote and celebrate coastal conservation.

GORCC CEO Richard Davies said the event is a great way to celebrate the achievements local schools have made over the year, and recognise their dedication to coastal conservation.

“Environmental education is an important aspect of encouraging environmental stewardship in the next generation, and the Coast Guardians program provides fantastic opportunities for local schools to enjoy and respect the iconic coastline,” he said. 

To read the full story and view the photo gallery head to our blog.

ANGAIR volunteers Sally White and John Wade help keep the plants hydrated during the warm spring day in Anglesea. 

Wildflower and Art Weekend a success!

The annual ANGAIR Wildflower and Art Weekend was greeted with a glorious spring day to welcome locals and visitors to the event.

This year featured a hands-on amphibian, reptile and insect experience by Roaming Reptiles, which was greatly received by children and adults alike.

Other great activities on the day included:

  • Spectacular displays of indigenous flowers
  • Guided wildflower walks and bus tours
  • Indigenous plants for sale
  • Book and craft stalls
  • Children’s activities
  • Land mangers stalls and information
  • The Fire Game
View all the photos from the day on our blog or check out our Facebook page.
The new Environment and Education Manager Katie Dolling takes over the role from Alex MacDonald who is currently on maternity leave. 

GORCC welcomes new Environment and Education Manager 

Katie Dolling joins the GORCC management team taking on Alex MacDonald's role while she is away on maternity leave. 

Katie completed her Bachelors of Arts/ Science at Melbourne University, majoring in environmental science and geology, as well as her Graduate Diploma in Environment, focusing on policy governance and communications. 

The new Environment and Education Manager said she is excited to be back in Australia following four years working and studying in Canada. 

"I've always been interested in living on the coast and have had my eye on the Torquay region for a while, so this job allows me to combine my ideal job in the ideal location," she said.

Read more about Katie's story on our blog.

A snapshot of the restoration works being completed at Soapy Rocks. 

Soapy Rocks restoration enters next phase

A $7,500 Coastcare community grant will allow restoration and rejuvenation works to continue at Soapy Rocks in Anglesea.

The major weed infestation along the difficult coastal terrain has been awarded funding for a contractor to remove the large woody weeds to allow for the revegetation of the area with indigenous plants.

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

This grant is part of the ongoing coastal management works at Soapy Rocks outlines in the Anglesea Ecological Management Plan report in 2013.

Find out more on our blog. 
The Green Army team helps replant the Surf Coast Walk track at Demons Bluff.

Demons Bluff receives makeover 

GORCC has recently re-routed the section of the Surf Coast Walk along the Demon’s Bluff cliff-top to the existing loop walk, following engineering advice that the cracks in the cliff are presenting a risk to visitors.

The area along the cliff-top is now being replanted by the Green Army in consultation with ANGAIR to ensure the appropriate flora is added to the fragile ecosystem. 

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: by 30 September 2016.
For more information visit GORCC at

Joint Lorne working bee at Queens Park 

Lornecare and Friends of Queens Park join forces every August, September and October to tackle the invasive Cape Broom species at the iconic Lorne site. The final joint working bee is scheduled for the third weekend in October, details below.  

When: 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.

Everyone is welcome and morning tea is provided. 

Reminder to stay out of the dunes

Illegal dune access is one of the major contributors threatening the fragile dune ecosystems along our coastline. 

GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale urges everyone to stay out of the dunes and report any illegal activity. 

"It is important everyone observes the signs and stays on designated tracks to help protect the fragile dune ecosystem which is home to many rare and threatened flora and fauna species. 

"In the past we have noticed an increase in illegal activity during school holidays, and are calling for community support to stamp out the illegal activity," she said. 

Access outside of designated tracks and paths on the coast is prohibited, with laws applying to both fenced and unfenced sand dune areas and on-the-spot fines issued.

If you do notice illegal activity, please contact the Surf Coast Shire on 5261 0600 to report the incident.  
The new sub-floor for the Western Split Point Lookout under construction.

Split Point Lookout construction begins

Construction is now underway for the final stage of the Split Point Lookouts in Aireys Inlet.

Foundations have been poured and the final two lookouts are expected to be completed by October, weather dependent.

The new lookouts will match the style and materials of the existing lookouts at Split Point and help reduce the environmental impact whilst optimising the user experience and views. 

Hoodies are breeding!

Breeding season for the threatened beach-nesting shorebirds has begun with Hooded Plover eggs already spotted along the coast. 

How can you help?
  • Walk along the waters edge 
  • Keep dogs on a leash dog friendly beaches only
  • Observe signs and keep clear of fenced areas
For more information go to the Save the Hoodie website, or like their Facebook page

Plastic wise events policy implemented

GORCC has adopted the Surf Coast Shire's Plastic Wise Events and Market Policy earlier this month which will see the end to single-use plastics at events and markets held on the coast. 

Moggs Creek boardwalk completed

Construction is now complete at Moggs Creek with a new beach access ramp in place funded from the Recreational Fishing Levy Grants Scheme.

This work was previously scheduled for the 2015-16 financial year but was delayed to avoid disruption of hooded plover breeding on the site.

For more project updates visit our website or like us on Facebook. 
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