Coasts & Marine


Coastcare LogoA big part of the Coasts and Communities Program is to work with coastal communities to identify local environmental problems and achieve practical solutions. Coastcare is an Australia-wide community of volunteers who care for their coast.

There was lots of free fun during September school holidays!

During the recent school holidays Coastcare lined up some exciting and free holiday fun for children aged from five to 12. Two events were run,  one at Conway Beach and the other at Bucasia.


To keep up to date with Coastcare activities register to receive our quarterly newsletter.

The Whitsundays Source Reduction Workshop

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Eco Barge Clean Seas, Tangaroa Blue Foundation, and the Whitsunday Regional Council recently joined forces to help prevent litter from becoming marine debris and they were helped by a huge crowd of volunteers. The event was held at Eco Barge HQ at Lot 13, Shute Harbour Road at Airlie Beach.

Coastcare School Holidays ‘Kids day out’

Volunteers at the Wilsons Beach School Holidays Program run by Reef Catchments at Mackay

Volunteers at the Wilsons Beach School Holidays Program

During the Easter holidays, more than 100 lucky kids took part in the Coastcare School Holidays Program.

The activity morning’s run at popular Mackay and Whitsundays beaches, saw a great turn out with over 100 children and their families taking part in fun filled educational activities.

Children participating in the School Holidays Program, Bucasia Beach which was run by Reefcatchments in Mackay

Children participating in the School Holidays Program, Bucasia Beach

With a focus on native animals, kids learnt all about special animals living in our region and the threats to these populations such as marine debris, boat strikes, clearing, feral and domestic animals.

The interactive activities offered children the opportunity to have fun, think about the issues at hand and propose solutions as to how they (their parents and the community) could make a positive difference and protect these amazing animals!

Reef Catchments Coastal Project Officer, Jess Berryman said the day was a great way for young beach-goers to learn more.

Theodore the Turtle with trusty sidekicks from Reef Catchments, Mackay Regional Council, Birdlife Mackay, and Pioneer Catchment Landcare

Theodore the Turtle with trusty sidekicks from Reef Catchments, Mackay Regional Council, Birdlife Mackay, and Pioneer Catchment Landcare

“We wanted children to have a fun morning learning about coastal conservation and leave with an idea of how they could help solve the issues causing declining populations in our unique native animals.”She went on to explain everyone is responsible for protecting our wildlife;

“There are easy steps everyone can take to protect native wildlife- putting a propeller guard on your outboard, picking up litter when you see it and keeping your cat indoors all help protect native wildlife.”

Thanks to all the wonderful families who came along! We look forward to seeing you again soon! 


Loved up learning!

A family of volunteers attended a workshop at the Mackay Natural Environment Centre

A family of volunteers enjoying the day.

Coastcare has once more delivered a successful community engagement morning filled with opportunities for all ages.

Almost 30 volunteers converged on the Mackay Natural Environment Centre where they enjoyed a morning of loved-up learning about the significance of coastal vegetation and how to propagate native seeds to be used for protection of the beautiful beach areas around Mackay.

Volunteers who attended the Mackay Natural Environment Centre to take part in a seminar

Volunteers getting their hands dirty for our coasts.

Coast and biodiversity project officer, Jess Berryman, said the Coastcare events were all age inclusive.

“This past weekend we had volunteers from just two years old up to 70 trying their hand at plant propagation and learning about proactive coastal management,” she said.

“We are thrilled with how well the event was received! The kids had an absolute ball helping propagate plants, they really took the message to ‘get your hands dirty for the coast’ quite literally!

“More “mature” volunteers managed to keep themselves relatively dry and spent the morning learning all about plant propagation and protecting coastal vegetation from our own Mackay Regional Council nursery manager, Sue McCormack.

Mackay Coastcare Sowing Seeds of Love session on 13 February 2016

Feeling the love on Valentine’s Day at the Mackay Natural Environment Centre

Jess said she had made some excellent connections at the event where she enjoyed spending time with likeminded people who really cared about the environment.”

Parents praised the event on the weekend, with one father calling to say his daughter had such a good time, she woke him on Sunday, already dressed and ready to spend another morning volunteering. He added the family would definitely remain involved with Coastcare as it was a great opportunity to get outside and to do something positive to protect the region.

A recent influx of young adults at Coastcare events is a strong indication that Coastcare messages about what Coastcare is and what the program aimed to achieve was being heard in the community.

Jess said there were a number of events planned for the region which provided an excellent opportunity to keep children and adults engaged with the great outdoors.

Key Contacts

Olivia Brodhurst, project officer with Reef Catchments at Proserpine

Olivia Brodhurst

P (07) 4945 2321
M 0429 033 541
E Olivia Brodhurst

Cass Hayward


P (07) 4968 4206
M 0429 155 841
E Cass Hayward

Recent Coastcare Events

December, 2015 – Harbour Beach

Do you get excited when you spot a turtle swimming along the Mackay coast?  Volunteer turtle-lovers came together this December at Harbour Beach to help protect our beautiful beaches and marine wildlife, taking part in the final Coastcare activity for 2015. The event allowed participants to learn about the sea turtles nesting on our beaches […]

September 13, 2015 – Harbour Beach

Eager Coastcare volunteers spent a beautiful morning protecting our native wildlife by removing over 500kgs of rubbish from Harbour Beach. The majority of rubbish found along the beach was comprised of cigarettes, bottle caps, plastic bottles, food wrappers, straws, zip ties and rope. Many of these items contribute to the injury or death of native […]

September 24, 2015 – Conway Beach

This was the first time a School Holiday Coastcare event had been held at Conway Beach and it won’t be the last. The event was a great success with more than 50 participants (including 37 children) coming down to join in and learn about the importance of coastal conservation and what they can do to […]

June 13, 2015 – Bucasia

Coastcare volunteers were in action down on Bucasia Beach removing invasive weed species including Seaforth Burr, Buffle Grass, Coffee Senna and Stinking Passion Flower. By removing these weed species, volunteers have created space for natives to re-establish in the area. Weeds cause a number of issues along our local beaches. They provide little stabilisation for […]

August 2, 2015 – Airlie Beach

It’s not often you get the chance to put on a shell and take to the beach in the name of conservation. Over 200 eager young learners of all ages came together recently at the Reef Festival Telstra Family Fun Day in Airlie Beach to find out more about how we can look after our reef and marine animals. Children […]

December 6, 2014 – Bucasia

2014 has been another big year for Coastcare, with trees planted, weeds pulled, waders watched, Slade Point Reserve walked, and turtles talked (about). Our final event for the year saw us at Bucasia, where volunteers have been undertaking weed control and revegetation activities since early 2013. This year volunteers planted around 300 native seedlings to replace the […]

More Coastcare events