SUMMER BY THE SEA IS OVER AFTER A RECORD SEASON
Coast Action/Coastcare’s “Summer by the Sea” has finished for another year, and what a year it was.
Coastcare Facilitator for east Gippsland, Glen Forster said that blue skies, warm weather and a reinvigorated program all resulted in a fantastic turn-out to a range of free activities across east Gippsland.
“This year we held free activities at Hollands Landing, Ocean Grange, Raymond Island, Eagle Point, Lakes Entrance, Lake Tyers, Marlo, Cape Conran, Point Hicks and Mallacoota,” Mr Forster said. Summer by the Sea is in its eleventh year in Victoria and has grown into a significant educational program reaching over 50,000 holiday-makers and locals alike every year across the state.
2006 saw a record 3,124 people engaged over a three-week period in east Gippsland, up 21 per cent on 2005.
“This is a fantastic result and it indicates that people are looking for more than just sun, surf and sand on their holidays,” Mr Forster said.
“People have a genuine desire to learn more about the natural environment where they take their holidays.
They realise that to keep their favourite holiday location as they remember it from childhood they need to make some changes in the way they interact with the coast and Summer by the Sea provides them with the information they need.”
“It is also a great way for families to take part in free, education activities together, thus passing on their love of the coast to their children.”
Mr Forster said that with this increasing profile comes the challenge of finding new activities each year that reflect the local characteristics of the east Gippsland coast.
“A significant new partnership was formed this year to tackle this challenge, with Conservation and Land Management students from Forestech employed as activity leaders.”
Conservation and Land Management Coordinator Andrea Brumley said that the opportunity for students to gain industry experience and pass on their skills and knowledge is just one of the ways Forestech and Coast Action are working together to provide further avenues for students to excel.
“With the formation of the Forestech Coast Action group and through involvement in Summer by the Sea , students have the opportunity to leave Forestech not only with a diploma but with contacts in the industry, experience in managing projects, public interaction skills and a demonstrated commitment to environmental management,” Ms Brumley said.
Summer by the Sea 2006 could not have happened without the support of long time Coast Action partners Waterwatch, Fishcare, Parks Victoria, Cape Conran Cabins, Lake Tyers Coast Action, Friends of Beware Reef, Friends of the Gippsland Lakes, Little Tern Task Force and ABC Gippsland.