Share Our Shores - Stay off the Sand Dunes
HOW DEEP ARE YOUR POCKETS?
That’s the question that needs to be on everyone’s lips on the Barwon Coast this summer.
Sand dune degradation is a significant environmental issue. As part of the Barwon Coast Share Our Shores project we have partnered with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria Police, CFA, City of Greater Geelong and Ocean Grove Coastcare to advocate behavioral change amongst beach users when it comes to dune protection.
This campaign is called the ‘How Deep Are Your Pockets’ campaign and it focuses on the fines that can be given to those who enter sand dunes unlawfully. Not only does entering the vegetated zones of the dune system degrade the natural values, but it is dangerous to your own health and wellbeing. Dunes are known to become top heavy and slump down without warning and Copperhead snakes live in the dunes. Leaving litter in the dunes harms wildlife and blankets out the seed bank preventing natural regeneration of plants and in itself can become fuel loads for fire.
This threat to sand dunes was identified as a significant environmental issue by the local community in the ‘Barwon Coast Coastal Management and Beach Usage’ Report released in October this year. The majority of research participants said they were concerned over sand dune degradation from children playing in and sliding down the dunes, partying in the dunes and dogs-off-leash running through the dunes”.
Our sand dunes are already under natural pressures from the influences of the tides and weather. These pressures are compounded further through the inappropriate actions of some. If we continue to treat the dunes with disrespect, we stand to not only lose our beach access but lose our beaches as well.
We are aiming to hopefully reduce people entering sand dunes through creating as much awareness as possible of this environmental issue through the ‘How Deep Are Your Pockets’ campaign. Information on the campaign has been sent in November 2018 to all local schools, Surfing Victoria and Surf Life Saving Clubs to help further educate the community. We would like all locals and visitors to the Barwon Coast to Share Our Shores and stay off the dunes.