Another year gone and a lot more data collected and collated. David Bills Thompson will give you and overview of what has been happening on the foreshore of East Beach and South Beach. We continue to monitor monthly. After being conjured by Jenny Young, this usually involves a 7.30am start on Sunday depending on tides but not generally weather, and travelling up the beach in the SLSC’s ATV and taking readings using the laser level. It’s usually followed by a cup of coffee and conversation at Charlie’s. I have to thank and commend Jenny on her persuasive organizing skills. It’s quite something to find enough willing and able bodies to do the job. We are grateful to the SLSC for providing a driver at such an early hour, not always so popular after the night before. Our Tech officer and wizard of Excel, David Bills Thompson then spends the next few hours putting it all together in fancy flowing colourful graphs that we know will dance about the screen at the next committee meeting.
We do enjoy it but we are always keen to encourage other members to help us out. It would be great to have a larger pool of bodies to draw from and we are conscious of our skewed gender disparities, so girls come and join us!
It’s refreshing engaging with the 2 primary schools as we do monthly. Monitoring Pea Soup and Sth. Beach is part of their year 6 science curriculum. After showing them how to do it they then take over and present the data to David while he enters it into his laptop in the back of his truck and creates a graph in real time in front of their eyes.
One somewhat controversial issue that has involved us is the Stat Govt. issuing 50 licenses for horses to access the beach up at the golf course end. They are permitted to exercise from the northern end of the rock wall to Milsons point. We have added a new site to monitor, that being the entry point to the beach to see if there are any adverse effects.
MSC continues to be very supportive and we have good interaction with them. We recently contributed a submission to the PF Structural Plan. Our regular beach data is sent to them and DWELP and because of this an interesting outcome from this activity is that various groups and tertiary institutions have been in touch with us asking for information. Some are intending to start up their own monitoring program i.e. Bellarine Bayside System of Management, and others are University bodies wanting to establish data bases and requesting contributions i.e. the School of Bioscience, Melb University. They have established the National Centre for Coast and Climate to work with stakeholders to identify the best ways of addressing climate change impacts in Australian coastal ecosystems. They have developed an informative Web site called Coastal Adapt.
At a more local level the State Gov. has established the Victorian Coastal Council which oversees the 3 Regional Costal Boards (Western, Central and Gippsland). They also have a Web site. This week I received an invitation from The Central Coastal Board to attend a forum in Melbourne. So like it or not we are involved beyond our East Beach precinct.
Speaking of Web sites don’t, forget to look at ours (PFCG.org.au). Ian Tebbutt has kindly agreed to manage this and is doing a great job. I would like to thank Julie Burt for her diligence as secretary during the last year. She has decided to step down but thankfully not out.
Nick Abbott (Chairman)