July to December 2015 Update 3

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Caring For Our Bays

The Dell Environment Day
Community Update
Cowies Creek litter count and clean upHello and welcome to our third community update on the Caring For Our Bays program. 2015 has been a great year for community action.

Our project’s strategic aim is to create an alliance of community groups, government agencies and private businesses to bear upon litter issues in Port Phillip Bay, south and east of Geelong, with catchment flow entering Corio Bay and surrounding waters.

The project began with an audit of litter hotspot sites in the region. This was a consultative process, drawing on local knowledge from the City of Greater Geelong, the Borough of Queenscliffe, and many of the schools, land managers and community organisations on the Bellarine.

From this priority hotspots were nominated for the project’s first year of researching litter patterns, involving local interests in the technical aspects of litter monitoring and measurement, and developing engagement models to apply to other hotspots over the project’s 3 years. In this time, Caring for our Bays goes a lot further than clean ups.

Building research capacity in the community is a key component to the project. This includes training and use of the Local Litter Measurement Toolkit (LLMT) by students and members of the community, and a concerted effort to identify what types of litter are entering bay waters, where it is coming from, and as far as possible preventing litter at its source.

Over the next two years, Caring for our Bays will be rolling out litter measurement and research activities across hotspots, with Cuthbertson's Creek (flowing through Geelong) as a prime case study to track over the period. Baselines are in place after a team of Conservation Volunteers Australia carried out detailed litter audits and water quality testing.

 For more information, contact Rebecca Petit-Bramwell, Caring for our Bays Coastal Coordinator on 0411 161 705 or email .

The Dell Environment Day with City of Greater Geelong staff
The Dell Environment day kids planting
The Dell Environment Day was a success!
Caring For Our Bays attended The Dell at Clifton Springs Environment Day run by Drysdale Clifton Springs Community Association and the Bellarine Catchment Network. Coast Challenge Course

Caring For Our Bays ran a Coastcare Environment Challenge Course for Clifton Springs Primary School. The challenge is a relay race that educates students on keeping litter off our beaches, looking after our marine life and indigenous vegetation. Other activities the students took part in were Waterwatch macro invertebrates identification and learning about the interesting history of the Dell and its changes over time.

The Clifton Springs & Curlewis Coastal Reserves Environment Booklet and Flora and Fauna Guide was also launched at this event. Pick up a copy to learn about the area from the Springdale Neighbourhood house in Drysdale 17-21 High Street, Drysdale.

Clifton Springs Enviroment Booklet Launch


Cowies Creek Litter Count Training
Local Litter Measurement Toolkit Training with Waterwatch at Cowies Creek

Waterwatch had two Conservation and Land Management students from The Gordon Tafe, join them for a few days’ work placement.  In September they joined us, along with a group of students from Covenant College,  engaged in a litter training session and clean up at Cowies Creek adjacent to the Sports and Leisure Centre on Anakie Rd, Geelong.

On initial inspection of the site, there didn’t appear to be much litter.  However, as we looked closer  we discovered there was a substantial amount of litter. Soft plastic food packaging such as cling wrap, chip bags etc, came in at the top position with 38 pieces of this type of rubbish collected.  Next in line was plastic bags with 11 collected, followed closely by Small Plastics and other paper and cardboard close behind.  An assortment of plastic strapping, bubble wrap, takeaway containers, cigarette packets, newspapers, and even a shopping trolley were collected. Concerned volunteers and school groups can adopt a site and identify the types of rubbish found at the following hotspot sites Cowies Creek, Cuthbertsons Creek, Clifton Springs Boat Ramp and St Leonards Pier. 

 Cowies Creek litter count cleanup
After the initial survey, the areas are cleaned up by volunteers and/or environmental groups.  From then on the site is surveyed on a regular basis and the types of rubbish found are recorded.  This information will then be collated to determine if there is a pattern of litter and how best to solve the litter problem in that area. If you are interested in adopting a site or finding out more about the Caring For Our Bays program, contact Rebecca via
Bellarine Catchment Network Dog Beach Monitoring Program, Point Lonsdale

The Bellarine Catchment Network (BCN) and Borough of Queenscliffe have been co-ordinating a Beach Monitoring Program for BCN volunteers to use. In addition to the current Fluker post on-site, the program aims for volunteers to monitor vegetation changes, sand erosion and accretion across the site. Monitoring coastal forms and process has become increasingly important to ensure the coast is understood and to provide a benchmark to measure effectiveness of management interventions (e.g. sand retention fences) now and into the future. Point Lonsdale Dog Beach Fluker Monitoring Program
Volunteers will undertake data collection of various parameters, with a main focus on Fluker post photos and the use of Beach Height markers. The Dune, Backshore and Foreshore will be measured.

This information provides vital management direction to ensure the continued success of intact earlier on-ground conservation works, which are the product of considerable time and resources. Three organisations, the Bellarine Catchment Network, the Borough of Queenscliffe and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) have been instrumental in the inception and design phase of this monitoring program. Through working with local community groups, Swan Bay Environment Association has ensured this project remains linked to local priorities and expectations.

The online program ‘survey monkey’ has been selected as the data management software, largely due to its approachable format. Furthermore, it provides the capacity to perform inferential and parametric statistical procedure and has the option of uploading data to other statistical software if more advanced procedures are required. Fluker photos are uploaded straight to the online database, and volunteers upload all additional photos to the ‘photo file’ in the ‘community bulletin/education’ google docs (cloud storage) file they have joint access to. For more information go to The Fluker Post Project ‘Post B1’.

Farewell to Stephanie Suter
Stephanie Suter, Waterwatch Facilitator from the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority has left to take up a job opportunity in NSW. Her new role is as Assistant Environmental Water Programs Officer at the Office of Environment and Heritage.Steph Suter from Waterwatch

Steph was an integral part of the Caring For Our Bays Program undertaking Water Quality Monitoring at Cowies and Cuthbertsons Creek, litter counts and cleans up, data collection and helping to provide strategic direction for the program. She will be missed.

We look forward to working with her replacement when they are appointed. If you are interested in helping with water quality monitoring at litter hot spot sites at Cuthbertsons or Cowies Creek in Geelong or finding out more about the Waterwatch program please contact .


You can help ReEnergise Geelong

ReEnergise Geelong formed out of the growing community of people in Geelong who want to put the politics to one side, and get on with creating a stronger economic future for our city through renewable energy.  They are working with business, community and government leaders to support renewable energy jobs and long term bill reductions for the Geelong community.  They are also telling the great stories of Geelong residents and businesses who are using renewable energy.

You can add your voice to the Geelong community who are calling for 100% renewables for our city, and follow Geelong's progress as it transitions to 100% renewables. Sign on to ReEnergise Geelong at


Upcoming Events

Calling all schools- Barwon Water 's Education Program 

Barwon Water’s education program continues to gain in popularity, with incursions overtaking excursions as the most requested activity during 2015. A water incursion can add excitement to the classroom, introduce a new topic or build on previous lessons.Sessions are tailor-made, with a range of inter-active activities and presentation styles to suit student numbers and year level. Topics covered during an incursion include:
  • the natural water cycle
  • water as a precious resource
  • keeping our waterways healthy
  • water efficiency, conservation and sustainability
  • drinking water treatment (filtration)
  • sewage treatment and recycled water reuse
  • other water-related topics.
To sign up contact Fernando Garcia, Barwon Water Education Officer
on (03) 5226 2402 or email

Join the clean up of our Marine Environment under water!

Check out Project Aware and their underwater clean up activities you can participate in at . If you start your own underwater diving clean up group for Portphillip or Corio Bay we'd love to hear about it! Please email

Where to recycle old lights and cardboard

Energy saving lights and other compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and tubes contain a small amount of mercury. Therefore to dispose of them safely - they need to be recycled. Your old lights and cardboard packaging can be dropped off for free at the resource recovery centres. You can use the online waste guide to find your disposal options for a wide range of items.

Resource Centres locations are:
Geelong Resource Recovery Centre
Address: 100 Douro Street in North Geelong
Hours: 7:30am - 4:15pm Monday – Sunday
Phone: 03 5272 2613

Drysdale Resource Recovery Centre
Address: Becks Road (off Murradoc Road Drysdale)
Hours: 8:00am - 4:15pm Monday - Sunday
Phone: 03 5251 2935

Learn about our extraordinary marine environment in Melbourne Down Under

Melbourne Down under will be screened in the Geelong Region in 2016 go to for details and to discover more about our amazing marine environment.



Will you Take 3 for the Sea?

 Take 3 is a not-for-profit organisation formed in Australia in 2009 that aims to raise awareness of plastic pollution (marine debris) by encouraging each visitor to the beach, waterway or...anywhere to simply take 3 pieces of rubbish with them when they leave and dispose of it thoughtfully. Take 3 also encourage everyone to reduce unnecessary plastic consumption - and make our lives a little less plastic! 

Take 3 now have a growing network of supporters and Chapters around the world. Take 3's mission is to significantly reduce global plastic pollution through education and participation. They encourage people everywhere to educate and inspire others; participate in clean up activities and to share their story. Together, we can reduce global plastic pollution. For more details go to

Caring For Our Bays Summer Activities

This Summer Caring For Our Bays will be involved in Coastcare, Nippers and Summer By The Sea Programs, keep a look out for us at these events.

The Following Summer By the Sea 
dates run with Bellarine Bayside  are available for bookings. Numbers are limited. For ages 5-13 years.

What: Rock Pool Ramble and Beach Comb- Summer by the Sea
When: Monday 4 January 2016, 3.00pm-4.00pm
Where: Indented Head, Half Moon Bay, Meet in front of Ozone Wreck, Opposite Indented Head General Store between Markers 31B and 32B
 For more information: Call 0411 161 705

What: Coastcare Challenge Course- Summer by the Sea

When: Tuesday 5 January 2016, 4.00pm-5.00pm
Where: Portarlington Foreshore, Meet at corner of Sproat St Franzel Ave Portarlington on the beach. 
For more information: Call 0411 161 705

What: Coastcare Challenge Course- Summer by the Sea

Thursday 7 January 2016, 4.00pm-5.00pm
Where: St Leonards Pier, at the end of Murradow Rd corner of the The Esplanade St Leonards.
For more information: Call 0411 161 705

What: Coastcare Challenge Course- Summer by the Sea

Thursday 14 January 2016, 11.30pm-12.30pm
Where: Indented Head, Half Moon Bay, Meet in front Of Ozone Wreck, opposite Indented Head General Store between  Markers 31B and 32B.
For more information: Call 0411 161 705

People will take responsibility for their actions and pride in their community surroundings resulting in a healthy marine ecosystem and a brighter future for our bays.
Copyright © *|2015|* *|Bellarine Catchment Network|*, All rights reserved.

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