It’s good news for Mackay Whitsunday beaches – a newly released summary of environmental coastal works in our region has highlighted some major achievements over the past 12 months.
Reef Catchments Coastal Officer, Jessica Berryman, said the Coasts and Communities Key Achievements (2015) summary was an important way of recognising the great work done by a wide range of groups to protect and enhance our Coast.
“This summary is a great way to start a new year on our Coast! The Coasts and Communities program is run by Reef Catchments in partnership with Mackay Regional Council, with support from the Australian Government. It relies on the involvement of hundreds of volunteers who commit to making a difference on our beaches and coastline each year.”
The summary highlights some significant outcomes for our region’s vulnerable coastal areas.
“In 2015, we had 668 volunteers attend coastal activities – a terrific outcome,” Ms Berryman said.
Coastal projects involving volunteers, Council and Reef Catchments staff and contractors have helped manage more than 900 hectares of coastal environment.
“This includes removal of invasive weeds and more than 6,900 native seedlings planted to improve the condition of the coastal environment, stabilise dune systems and provide important habitat for our native animals like marine turtles and shorebirds,” Ms Berryman said.
She said it was significant 2015 also saw an increase in the number of young people wanting to get hands-on.
“In 2015, we had more than 150 high school students engaged in coastal conservation works.”
With 2016 just starting, Ms Berryman said she would encourage anyone with a love of their beach to find out how they could contribute.
2016 calendar released
“We have just released the 2016 Coastcare Calendar, which has some terrific free events for anyone wanting to be involved. Coastcare events are open to all ages and family friendly, and a great way to give something back and learn more about the coastal and marine environment we love,” she said.
View the 2016 Coastcare Calendar
The full list of Mackay Whitsunday Coasts and Communities Key Achievements for 2015 is below:
- 901 hectares of coastal environment managed for invasive weeds to promote native rehabilitation. That’s the size of 739 soccer fields.
- volunteers attended Coastcare activities to improve our region’s beaches.
- 6,970 native seedlings were planted to improve the condition of the coastal environment, replace removed weed species, stabilise dune systems and provide habitat for native animals such as marine turtles and shorebirds.
- 3,850 kilograms of rubbish was removed from our beaches and coastal reserves and prevented from ending up in our waterways and oceans. That’s equal to the weight of almost 10 fully grown dugongs.
- 10 Mackay Regional Council staff were working on-ground, committing resources to protect our region’s Coast.
- 19 Coastcare activities were held across 6 beaches to provide opportunities for local residents to care for our Coast.
- More than 150 high school students were engaged in coastal conservation works.
- 15 organisations worked together to deliver integrated coastal management in the Mackay region
- 48 hectares of coastline were protected by installation of fencing to assist dune rehabilitation areas and define pedestrian access to protect nationally threatened coastal vegetation
- 7 Mackay Regional Council and Reef Catchments staff worked on coastal management planning, compliance, community engagement, monitoring and managing external contractors on our Coast.
- 15,057 hectares of sensitive coastal ecosystems were protected through proactive fire management with 5 rural fire brigades.
- 1,495 hectares of aquatic habitat improvement works were undertaken, which reduce marine litter, sediment and other pollutants
- 11 rural fire brigades were engaged to facilitate improved fire management across our region.
The Coasts and Communities program is a joint initiative of Reef Catchments and Mackay Regional Council, with support from the Australian Government.