Money will help save the Cooloola Coast wallum
THE Cooloola Coast group fighting to ensure the survival of wallum and control of invasive weeds on the Cooloola Coast will benefit from part of $400,000 in funding through the National Landcare Program.
THE Burnett Mary Regional Group has announced that more than 30 projects will receive funding through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
Almost $400,000 will be provided for projects under BMRG’s Keeping it Great and Healthy Habitats programs. The two programs are designed to help protect and preserve the region’s unique biodiversity and ecological character and the outstanding universal natural values of the Fraser Island World Heritage Area.
The projects will allow landholders, Landcare and environmental groups to conduct onground works and community education and capacity building activities.
The two programs focus on the conservation and protection of threatened species and their habitats from environmental issues such as invasive weeds, feral pest predation and fire. Survey and assessment projects will also undertaken in order to monitor and manage the health of the region’s coastal and terrestrial ecosystems and threatened species such as marine turtles and other priority regional and national species.
BMRG CEO, Penny Hall, says that the grants are a great way to support local communities and volunteers in their efforts in reducing threats to the regions important biodiversity assets.
“In this region we have some truly iconic natural assets such as Fraser Island and the Ramsar listed Great Sandy Strait. We are extremely fortunate also to have a dedicated and capable local community that have the skills and the desire to keep these assets great. This funding provides opportunities for them to continue this work.” she said.
One of the funding recipients is Cooloola Coastcare who have been active for many years in the southern part of the Great Sandy Strait in conducting onground works and building awareness within the local community about environmental threats such as invasive weeds.
Cooloola Coastcare president Fiona Hawthorne said that their successful application will help them to continue to their work.
“The Great Sandy Strait has the last remaining large tract of wallum in South East Queensland and it is threatened by the introduction of weeds, many escaping from gardens to be carried along our waterways and spread by airborne dispersal. This funding will allow us to distribute a second edition of our popular booklet, Great Sandy Beauties and Beasties” - a responsible gardener’s guide to coastal native plants and weeds to help local gardeners understand which native plants to grow and which invasive weeds to watch out for”.
Copies of the guide will be available from September 2016 and can be obtained by contacting Cooloola Coastcare – www.cooloolacoastcare.com