Barwon Heads students working hard to care for the local coast
Grade six students from Barwon Heads Primary School are teaming up with Barwon Coast to care for the local coast.
Barwon Coast Community Liaison and Education Manager, Maddie Glynn said that during term three, over 60 students have spent time with the Barwon Coast Education Team learning how to become wildlife warriors.
“The students learnt about biodiversity, the importance of biosecurity, threatened species, dune protection and being a responsible pet owner” said Ms Glynn.
“One of the sessions focused on citizen science, which is something that anyone in Barwon Heads or Ocean Grove can get involved in. The students took part in the Barwon Heads Friends of the Bluff BioBlitz Project. The students contributed to the project by taking pictures of native plants and animals on the Barwon Bluff trail. These pictures contribute valuable biodiversity data that is uploaded to the iNaturalist app for species confirmation by scientists.”
“Students also spent a lot of time on the Ocean Grove Spit clearing approximately 1 hectare of European Rocket, which is an invasive weed. They worked so hard to meticulously remove plants that ranged from 2cm to 30cm in height.”
“The students work will ensure that the native Spinifex grass can continue to thrive here. This is important as the Spinifex binds the sand to rebuild the dune system. This keeps the dune undulated to provide valuable habitat for wildlife such as the threatened Hooded Plover.”
“During their last session the students got messy! They conducted litter audits at three different spots in Barwon Heads including the Ozone trail, Frank Ellis Reserve and the Bluff trail. “
“Each class was designated a site to conduct a 30 minute clean up, with the results surprising us all. “
“Cigarette butts were the most littered item, with 697 being picked up on the day. Broken glass was the second most littered item with 138 pieces being picked up, the majority of this coming from the Bluff trail.”
“We are so impressed with the students who acted like superheroes! They were out in unfavorable conditions, tackling some difficult jobs. We hope that by understanding how everything in nature is connected and how our every-day actions can impact on these connections, that the students go away from their work with Barwon Coast empowered to know how to best care for the coast”.
“Next time you come to the coast, please remember the hard work these students have done to make your visit here more enjoyable”.
Notes for editors:
Barwon Coast Committee of Management Inc. (Barwon Coast)
Barwon Coast Committee of Management Inc. (Barwon Coast) is appointed by the Victorian State Government to manage 19km of coastal Crown land through the Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads and Breamlea townships, along the Bass Strait coast of the Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. Our vision is that the natural environment of our coastline will flourish whilst meeting the needs of our engaged communities. A major local employer in Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove, we have more than 50 skilled employees from a diverse range of backgrounds working across the coastal reserve.