It takes a lot of time and effort to care for the coast, as well as the dedication of many working together to make a real and positive different to the natural environment.
The Coasts and Communities Program is a truly collaborative initiative, involving 15 organisations working with the community to undertake strategic management of the coast.
Managing the coast takes planning, and this is where Beach Plans come into play.
In 2013 Beach Plans were developed and approved for two coastal management areas: Blacks Beach Spit, and Town and Far Beach.
Beach Plans identify the natural and recreational values of a beach as well as the processes and threats acting upon it. The plans prioritise activities to be undertaken to enhance the natural environment for all beach users – be they people or coastal animals.
Beach Plans form the basis of all works undertaken along the Mackay coast, and ensure that all involved are working together towards the same goals. Using Beach Plans to guide them, the 15 organisations and hundreds of community volunteers accomplished great things along the Mackay coast in 2013.
Over the year, 168 hectares of coastal environments were cleared of invasive weeds, which will promote native rehabilitation. This was complemented by the planting of 5,312 native seedlings to help replace removed weeds, which will act to stabilise the dunes and provide future habitat for native fauna. The installation of 770 metres of fencing around areas of Nationally threatened coastal vegetation will help to protect the dunes from future degradation.
Through coordination by a number of groups, volunteers removed over 12 tonnes of litter from the coastal environment – litter that would otherwise have ended up in the ocean as a hazard to marine animals like endangered sea turtles. The number of hours spent working to help the coast by volunteers and staff is the true measure of how much we all care for our coast.
We thank everyone who was involved in the program in 2013, and hope to do it all again in 2014.
Coasts and Communities is a joint initiative of Mackay Regional Council and Reef Catchments, through funding from the Australian Government and with support from Mackay Regional Council’s Natural Environment Levy.