Protecting our ancient dunes

NQ Dry Tropics has been working with enthusiastic volunteers to clean up and restore beach scrubs, one of our most important coastal communities.  

More than 40 hectares of weeds, including Weeds of National Significance, lantana, prickly pear and rubber vine has been managed, and more than 2000kg of rubbish removed from endangered beach scrubs and coastal vine thickets, in areas between Crystal Creek and Bowen.  With funding from the National Landcare Program, the Protecting Biodiversity team has contracted Conservation Volunteers Australia to complete on-ground works.

NQ Dry Tropics project manager Jaymie Rains said protecting beach scrub helped reduce erosion and maintain an important barrier between the sea and coastal communities.

“Coastal vine thickets are listed as Critically Endangered, Australia-wide and beach scrubs are listed as Endangered.  They’re only found on a thin part of the coast, on old dunes and provide vital habitat for many species including migratory birds,” Ms Rains said.

“They also provide protection for our coastal communities from storms and coastal erosion.

“Volunteers go to these sites and remove many of the weeds that are impacting them.  They also remove rubbish and marine debris from the sites.

“It’s hard, sweaty work, but so worthwhile.  You get to see areas that were covered in weeds returned to a better state.  They look so good with a bit of care.  

“Conservation Volunteers Australia is always looking for willing people to help out on these projects so anyone who is keen to get involved are encouraged to contact them,” she said.

Ms Rains said upcoming day and overnight trips were available to volunteers to work on beach scrub remnants between Crystal Creek and Bowen.  

Beach Scrub – image supplied by Conservation Volunteers Australia and reproduced with permission

“These locations are some of the most beautiful in North Queensland, you get to see some amazing parts of the coast,” Ms Rains said.

NQ Dry Tropics and Conservation Volunteers Australia will be working at these sites until the end of June next year.

You can do your bit to help save these important areas by contacting NQ Dry Tropics (Jaymie Rains on 4799 3522 or jaymie.rains@nqdrytropics.com.au ) or Conservation Volunteers (Wendy Willcox on 0409 934 263 or 4774 1693, or  wwillcox@cva.org.au ).

Main photo: Tackling weed infestation in beach scrub (photo supplied by Conservation Volunteers Australia and reproduced with permission).