A local project to improve endangered Beach Scrub vegetation at the Pocket along Horseshoe Bay Road in Bowen, has strengthened links between local groups, while improving important native habitat.

The  joint project between NQ Dry Tropics, Whitsunday Regional Council, and community groups, Flexi Care and Queens Beach Action Group (QBAG), was funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

The initiative gave local community members a chance to plant over one hundred native trees, while learning about how healthy vegetation contributes to a well-functioning ecosystem.

NQ Dry Tropics Project Officer, Kirralee Donovan said that beach scrub is critical to the health of sand dune systems and the adjacent estuary, but is classified as endangered due to pressures associated with growing coastal development, disturbance and weed invasion.

“These areas are important for a range of species, including migratory shorebirds and raptors (birds of prey) such as Ospreys and White Bellied Sea Eagles –  the second largest raptor in Australia”, she said.

“Beach Scrub connects terrestrial and marine environments, provides habitat for a range of different coastal species, and supports dune stabilisation and shoreline protection.

“It is through local partnerships that NQ Dry Tropics is able to support important projects such as this”, she said.

Flexi Care Coordinator, Tracey Jochheim, said it was interesting learning about the different phases of revegetation, from seed collecting to planting, and why it is important.

“It is a good feeling being involved in works we can see grow over time” she said.

This project extends from works undertaken by Whitsunday Regional Council, members of the Bowen community and community groups. If you are interested in finding out more or getting involved, please contact Kirralee Donovan at NQ Dry Tropics on kirralee.donovan@nqdrytropics.com.au.  

Photo includes members of Queens Beach Action Group, Flexi Care and NQ Dry Tropics. Reproduced with permission © NQ Dry Tropics 2016.