What you can do in a weekend
45 diverse volunteers, 35 kilometres of coastline, three days, thousands of sea spurge plants and 100 kilograms of marine debris. These stats tell half the story from the second larapuna/Bay of Fires Community Weekend. This spectacular coastline hosted this community engagement event initiated by the Parks and Wildlife Service with significant support from the Break O’Day Council, NRM North, commercial operators the Tasmanian Walking Company and Life’s An Adventure, the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania, Birdlife Tasmania, the Friends of Eddystone Point and most importantly, the local community. The intangible outcomes of the event were just as beneficial as the debris and sea spurge removed. Relationships were built, stories told and heritage celebrated during the three days. Some of the highlights included participant’s stories about their connections to the place, a series of snappy heritage talks by local experts at larapuna over afternoon tea, dinner at the award-winning Bay of Fires Lodge and the abundant wildlife – wombats, eagles, dolphins, seals and of course the angelic shorebirds. The event proved to be a wonderful opportunity to not only share connections, celebrate the diverse heritage values of the region and tackle two environmental issues together but to also forge new connections to the place and foster positive working relationships with the diverse group of individuals and stakeholders. All 100 kilograms of debris was classified by 50 grade five and six school children at St Leonards Primary School the following day. This follow up work not only allowed the data to be uploaded into Tangaroa Blue’s Marine Debris Database but most importantly, for the next generation to be engaged in the conversation about this worldwide issue. Check out the Wildcare calandar for this years event – its bound to be great.