Toomulla Beach Coastcare
Coordinator: Robyn Watkins
Toomulla Coastcare was formed in 2001-2002 to try to help increase coastal stability and biodiversity by removing declared weeds such as Hyptis, Guinea Grass, Lantana, Yellowbell, Periwinkle, just to name a few, and revegetation plantings of indigenous trees, shrubs & grasses.
We gain funding through grants mainly from the Australian Government but also through private business and we administer these grants ourselves especially since incorporating in 2011.
We have achieved 95% + weed removal in our foreshore area of 7.4 hectares by initial bulk removal by CVA teams (costed through grants) followed up by our coastcare group on weekly working bees with spraying, weedeating, hand pulling of weeds and after the wet season rains when the weeds all come back, bulk removal again by CVA teams. Over the past couple of years though our perseverance is paying off as less and less regrowth of weeds is happening and we can either handle it ourselves or only need CVA or Greening Aust. Teams on a one or two day basis instead of the normal week.
We have planted 10000 – 12000 trees, shrubs & grasses with a survival rate in the range of 70% thanks mainly to our ability to irrigate and give the plants at least 1 good year’s start with water. We have achieved this number with initial larger number plantings by CVA teams (again costed through grants) with our group monitoring areas and replacing plants where they have died. As we find a new area that can be revegetated and have funding for that purpose, we either do it ourselves over a few weekly working bees or organise for a CVA team.
We have also started to propagate our own native seeds from our trees, shrubs & grasses and have had good success especially with Casuarina equisetifolia which means we will always have some stock when we need to replace any plants.
We have had success in increasing community participation and awareness through Project Signage, Project Launches, Rolly Rag monthly newsletters and some community working bees, of the importance of the coastal dunes in Toomulla and the impact the public can have on them from four wheel driving through the bush, over dunes & on the beach (plus the new road rules prohibiting this on most beaches have helped) and the dumping of garden waste in the bush resulting in exotics taking over from natives - the more you involve community members, the more co-operation you get as they take some ownership to look after it or at least not to damage it and hinder our work.