Coastal voices uniting in Geraldton

Sorting through beach wrack on Geraldton's coast.

Sorting through beach wrack on Geraldton's coast.

Geraldton beach lovers are being called on to express their interest in joining a Geraldton-wide coastcare group.

The Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) is seeking to facilitate the establishment of the new group as well as bring together the number of dedicated coastcare groups already working on different sections of the Geraldton coastline, such as Drummonds Cove, Sunset Beach, Bluff Point and Point Moore.

The aim of this project is to establish a new umbrella coast care group across Geraldton that includes representatives from the existing groups and focuses on coastal issues that affect the entire Geraldton coast.

Geraldton’s coast is not only an important recreational asset for the community but it is also a very important ecosystem that requires community protection.

NACC Coastal and Marine Program Coordinator Dr Mic Payne said: “Most Geraldton residents feel a strong connection to their coast; it helps define our community and is a place where we go to relax.This new group will give local residents the capacity to become directly involved in managing this precious asset.”

Projects that the new group might undertake to help protect this environment include revegetating degraded dunes, managing pedestrian and off-road vehicle impacts, various community monitoring projects, controlling invasive weed species such as African Boxthorn and liaising with authorities on coastal erosion issues.

Dr Mic Payne said the group would provide more support for those wanting to volunteer their time in protecting the Geraldton coastline.

“Many local Coastcare groups are feeling the pressure of increasing impacts on coastal ecosystem whilst experiencing decreased Coastcare group membership. I hope that a broad membership base for this new group will help spread the workload and allow for frequent turn-over of office bearers to avoid burn-out,” he said.

The project is supported by the NACC and the City of Greater Geraldton, through funding from the the Department of Planning’s Coastwest Grants Program and the Australian Governments National Landcare Programme.

The inaugural meeting of the new group is planned for June this year.