Planting for the future: engaging our youth

With an ageing demographic amongst environmental volunteers, we recognise the need for passionate young people to step up and continue the work.

Our youth projects focus on events such as Coastcare for Singles, Youth Planting Days and others to provide an opportunity for youth volunteers to contribute time and energy for improving the biodiversity values of coastal dunes.

Each event allows us to help plant of thousands of native plants such as Beach Spinifex and the Coastal Daisy Bush.

These re-vegetated dunes are more resilient to the forces of wind, waves and currents and help create additional habitat to attract native wildlife.

Our youth events are fun, energetic and productive.  Local university students, youth groups and families come together rain, hail or shine to plant, share a cuppa and play a game of volleyball.

 

Adopt a Beach programs, beach clean-ups and sand dune planting: working with schools

Our Adopt a Beach projects encourage students to participate in ongoing activities that conserve our coastal environment.

We organise beach clean ups and planting days so school children can plant native seedlings along the coast, in sand dunes to provide habitat for native animals.

Endeavour Primary School

Year 3 students have planted more than 400 coastal species at the coastal foreshore reserve at Port Kennedy, Rockingham and shielded them with tree guards to protect them from winter storms.

The coastal reserve provides habitat for native animals and a long wide beach is a favourite with residents. With Southern Right Whales basking close to the shoreline, pelicans bobbing for fish and cormorants sunning themselves on the boat ramp, local residents are keen to ensure the reserve stays in good condition.

In conjunction with the City of Rockingham, community group Kennedy Bay Coastcare and the primary school students we undertake weed control and plant native species to control erosion and strengthen habitat values.

Bungaree Primary School

Students help protect the coastline by planting 400 coastal natives in the dunes at Rockingham. On-going planting has created new habitat giving protection to small lizards and encouraging birds such as the Black Shouldered Kite that can be seen patrolling the dunes for prey.

With assistance from BHP Billiton Nickel West under the Caring for the Coast project, coastal plants including Beach Spinifex, Coastal Daisy and Coastal Sword Sedge were planted at the Schools Planting Site at the Governor Road coastal reserve.

City of Rockingham and Nickel West staff participated in the event helping the students install the plants and add tree guards for longer term protection.

Orelia Primary School

The school is a participant in the Perth NRM Coastal and Marine Programs and our Adopt a Beach project that encourages students to participate in activities that conserve our coastal environment.

In conjunction with the Kwinana Industries Council we support environment scholarships and assist the community to nurture an interest in environmental management amongst school students.

South Coogee Primary

Students assemble at Coogee to continue Sandwatch activities, colelcting materials such as shells, sand, cuttlebone, limestone rock and granite rock. Vinegar (acetic acid) was added to the samples and the students recorded any reactions. It was evident that all samples containing calcium carbonate reacted with the acid producing bubbles of carbon dioxide gas as the calcium carbonate in the samples dissolved.

Perth NRM Coastcare Officer, Craig Wilson, explained to the students that increasing ocean acidification levels from dissolving carbon dioxide in the ocean may affect the ability of animals to produce the calcium carbonate required to build shells or skeletons for animals including crabs, oysters and coral.

Students then discussed the effect ocean acidification may have on marine organisms, our local fishery and global food chain. The importance of reducing carbon dioxide emissions was discussed and students prepared a poster outlining ocean acidification impacts.

Information from the experiment is entered on the Sandwatch database and shared. with all interested viewers.

Sandwatch in Perth is supported by City of Cockburn, Verve Energy and Perth NRM’s Adopt a Beach initiative.