There are an estimated 4,000 species of fish in the marine environment around Australia, and that figure doesn't even include the molluscs or the mammals and birdlife that thrive on the coast. But how much are you doing to care for this delicate ecosystem?
One way to get everyone involved is with Coastcare Week, which is fast approaching. Below, we outline how to care for the ocean during this innovative week of activities. So read on!
Protection and Preservation of the Marine Environment
Despite travel restrictions being lifted, many Australians will still choose to stay home this Summer, meaning that coast and marine environments could face more use than ever. This makes it vital that we make a positive human impact on the marine environment.
That is the purpose of Coastcare Week, scheduled for the 6th - 12th December. It runs nationwide and gives volunteers, groups, and charities a chance to share the work they have done on the coast.
History of the Event
The Coastcare event is the brainchild of Landcare Australia. They work with protecting and preserving the marine environment and all land and water that sustains us. They are a not-for-profit organisation that started around 30 years ago that provides funding, building projects, and information.
Its roots can be traced back to 1989 with Bob Hawke AC, the former Prime Minister. He set up the organisation to build strength in farming and communities. Believing the lands greatest asset was its people, it now also involves bush care, river care and coast care.
How to Care For the Ocean
In the early 90s, the government's Resource Assessment Commission undertook a substantial inquiry into the state and use of the coast. The outcome was that a national coastal action programme should be set up. The initial programme arrived in 1995, and it later became part of the Natural Heritage Trust Clean Sea Programme.
Before this, most groups caring for the coast were independent. By involving these groups alongside governments, communities and industry, a large body was created to manage the aquatic life of the country. This created a united front for positive human impacts on the marine environment.
Landcare Australia now owns and manages Coastcare. It raises funds and supports activities under the Coastcare banner across the country. If you care about saving the ocean and marine environments in the country, you can get involved.
Preparing for Coastcare Week
Even if you can't find an event in the local area, you can still participate in Coastcare week. There are several activities you could do or even organize yourself.
The week or two before the event, go for a look around your local area. Are there any issues that seem to be impacting your coast or marine ecosystem? Are there any organisations that may already be working for its preservation?
Once you have done this, ask locals what issues they face. Together, you can formulate a plan. If not, then talk to local business owners and those who work in the area.
You can also take part in activities that are organised online. For example, the seven-day plastic pledge helps people cut down on materials that are choking the oceans. You can do initiatives like this without extra effort and simply by changing a few daily activities and habits.
Don't forget to share your pictures of the event. You can send them to Coastcare themselves or share them on social media.
Support for local communities from Coastcare is available in the form of grants. These have helped causes such as dune protection, assisting in the survival of endangered species, and removing non-native flora and fauna in the past. There are currently no grants available, but this changes very frequently, and you should sign up for the newsletter for regular updates.
Many of the past grants have been sponsored by Coca-Cola Foundation with their Coastal Protection Grants. It has awarded grants of up to $15,000 to eight projects across six participating states. This money has been used to clear marine litter and for native plants to be introduced to areas in need.
Partnering With Coastcare
There are several partnering opportunities to become part of Coastcare and the wider Landcare Australia family. These are open to companies and are designed to align with your corporate social responsibility goals. With community projects at ground level, you can expect to do good while also strengthening your links with your customers.
Coastcare provides many resources. These divide into Group Resources Toolkits and Junior Landscape Learning Activities.
Group Resources Kits can be for year-round use and aim to educate community groups, individuals and councils. They help you start or improve your Landcare practices.
Resources in this section cover a range of topics. Help on starting a new Coastcare group and information about the marine impact of litter are available on their website.
Junior Landcare Learning Activities are ideal for youth groups and schools. They can cover everything from beach surveys to exploring the story of water. You can also browse them on their website.
Protecting Coast and Marine Environments
Now you know how to care for the ocean, get involved. You can sign up for local initiatives or even make a change from your own home. Together, Australia's oceans can be saved.
Our mission is to end sunscreen pollution in our oceans (and our bodies!) and help protect & regenerate our fragile reef ecosystems. When you buy our sunscreen, up to $1 will be donated to reef conservation initiatives. View our range of products to protect your skin and give back to our marine environment at the same time.