Coastal Excellence In Own Backyard
Excellence in coastal conservation in Bass Coast Shire was highlighted at the 2014 Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence held at the National Gallery of Victoria last week.
Hosted by the Victorian Coastal Council, three Bass Coast projects were named finalists, including two projects involving Bass Coast Shire Council.
Mayor, Cr Neil Rankine, congratulated the three groups that were recognised at the event – especially South Gippsland Conservation Society’s Bunurong Coast Education for winning an award on the night.
“Bunurong Coast Education was the successful finalist in the Education category, and I’d like to acknowledge the fantastic education programs they run for locals and visitors on a wide variety of environmental topics in Bass Coast,” Cr Rankine said.
The Friends of the Hooded Plover Bass Coast Community Group was a finalist along with all Victorian Hooded Plover groups in the Natural Environment category for ‘Helping to Save the Hooded Plover’.
“Their work includes protecting the endangered Hooded Plovers during breeding season, banding birds, promoting community awareness of the Hooded Plover, monitoring Hooded Plover populations and activities, developing and updating an extensive data base including data on population numbers, breeding locations and breeding success rates,” Cr Rankine said.
“The group operates on Council-managed and other foreshore reserves and Council supports the group by providing funding and in-kind support for their activities.
“Council officers nominated the group for the award.”
Friends of the Hooded Plover Group Coordinator, Stephen Johnson, acknowledged the small group of passionate volunteers that come together to look after this bird.
“Whilst it is nice to have a volunteer group recognised for such awards, it would be difficult to achieve what we have been doing without the professional advice and support from Bird Life Australia, Bass Coast Shire Council, Parks Victoria Wonthaggi and Phillip Island Nature Parks,” Mr Johnson said.
The Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve Community Working Group were also named finalist in the Community Action and Partnership category.
Cr Phil Wright and Council’s Coast and Bushland Coordinator, Derek Hibbert, are members of the Community Working Group.
“Council provides funding and in-kind support to the activities of the group, including community events and community education,” Cr Rankine said.
Phillip Island Nature Park nominated the group for the award.