Page 1

Cradle to C oast l i n e s Newsletter of the Cradle Coast Natural Resource Management Committee

Edition 4• 2014

Feature Story

Blending traditional knowledge with modern science Pages 4-5

In this issue: Community Activities


Events and News


Education 6 Sustainable Agriculture

Image: Ocean Beach, West Coach, Geoff Gleave


Community Activities

Our Future Coastal Scientists The dramatic impact of litter on the beach environment is becoming very clear to younger members of the community through Cradle Coast NRM’s Beachwatch program. Don College students have been participating in Beachwatch since the project began nearly 3 years ago. In August, the students conducted their winter clean-up at their adopted Back Beach in Devonport.

Penguin interpretation guide training, A.Wind

Don College Environmental Science teacher Marcel Brown says the Beachwatch project has been an important practical lesson for students.

A new wave of penguin interpretation guides

“The Beachwatch project is very beneficial, not only because we clean up litter, but also because it illustrates to students the magnitude of the problem,” Marcel said.

Penguin watching is a popular drawcard in the Cradle Coast region, attracting thousands of people to the penguin viewing platforms in Burnie and Lillico Beach each year.

“At a superficial glance the beach appears clean but when you start collecting it soon becomes apparent that there is a tremendous quantity of waste, mostly washed up from the sea,” said Marcel.

Visitors at these special places are greeted by interpretation guide volunteers from the Friends of Burnie Penguins and Friends of Lillico Penguins who share their knowledge and answer any questions that the on-lookers may raise.

Environmental Science students are being inspired by this ‘hands-on’ work to think about their careers and where their passions lie. Port Sorell resident and Don College student, Grace Bell, noted that the latest Beachwatch clean-up led to a research project on the spread of rubbish on beaches and could help spark careers in marine science.

Cradle Coast NRM recently coordinated a training session for new and existing volunteers which was attended by a record number of 31 locals keen to join the volunteer efforts. Training participants heard from Sam Cuff, Interpretation and Education Officer at the Parks and Wildlife Service on the tips and benefits of using effective interpretation to generate personal and thought provoking experiences for visitors. Perviz Marker, Coordinator of the Friends of Burnie Penguins, also shared her extensive knowledge of the habitat, traits and behaviours of the North West Coast’s Little Penguins. The penguin guide training was made possible by a Cradle Coast NRM $500 Community Sponsorship Grant to the Friends of Burnie Penguins, supported by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. For eligibility information on the Community Sponsorship Grants visit or contact Coastal Coordinator, Anna Wind, on

Cradle Coast NRM launched Beachwatch to not only remove the threat of litter from the region’s coasts but also as a community education initiative. Teachers are now using Beachwatch as an educational tool in a variety of disciplines including aquatic ecology, science, maths, English and art. Beaches in Devonport, Circular Head and Wynyard municipalities have been adopted as part of the Beachwatch program to collect and report on litter. The man-made marine debris is removed in a volunteering effort similar to the widespread ‘adopt a highway’ scheme.

“The Don College Environmental Science and Society class participate in this program to further our understanding of how litter can be so detrimental to the environment and to find just how much rubbish is out there. The collected rubbish is accurately recorded and disposed of in a proper way.” Geordie Birkett Don College student and Beachwatch participant

Coastcare Week is a Tasmanian initiative held annually in the first week of December to celebrate the invaluable work of Coastcare volunteers in the state and highlight actions everyone can take to protect our vulnerable coasts. Cradle Coast NRM will be holding a special ‘Let’s Celebrate Coastcare’ event on Friday 5 December encouraging people, young and old, to network and share their ‘coast caring’ knowledge. We invite our regional Coastcare groups and local schools to join us in celebrating and showcasing the work being done to help look after our coastal and marine environment. Student posters and artwork will be on display at the event and some of the children will be presenting their work and sharing what they have learnt with the group. Local author Heidi Auman will also be launching her new book “Garbage Guts” and a signed copy will be available for each school in attendance. This book is designed to educate primary aged students on the detriment of litter ending up in our oceans and how they can give a helping hand to solve this global problem. ‘The Let’s Celebrate Coastcare’ event is being held at Somerset Surf Life Saving Club from 11am to 2pm on Friday 5 December. General public are most welcome to attend and a BBQ lunch will be provided. RSVP is essential to Lauren Clarke at Cradle Coast Authority by Monday 1 December on 6433 8400. For more information call 6433 8400 and ask for Sherrie Jaffray or Dionna Newton.


Events and News

Coastcare Week celebrations 1 - 7 December 2014

Cradle Coast NRM invite all community groups involved in caring for our coast to celebrate Coastcare Week by holding a special event open to the public. Cradle Coast NRM will assist with publicising the event through distribution of a Coastcare Week calendar of events to local, regional and statewide media outlets. Events may include beach awareness and interpretation activities, plant identification sessions, community bbq’s, coastal weeding working bees, collecting marine rubbish or perhaps a unique event of your own making. Cradle Coast NRM encourage you to take advantage of this great opportunity to raise public awareness of your Coastcare, Friends of, Beachwatch or Landcare group and the activities you undertake. To have your event included in the Coastcare Week calendar submit the full details including event name, time, date, location and contact person to Anna Wind, Coastal Coordinator, Cradle Coast NRM on 6433 8400 or by Monday 24 November 2014.


Blending traditional knowledge with Natural resource management includes all the things that people do to ensure our natural assets remain healthy and productive. Cradle Coast NRM is always looking for the best ways to manage the natural resources of the Cradle Coast region whether those methods be thousands of years old, the newest modern technology or somewhere in-between. This season we highlight the roles that both traditional knowledge and modern science can play in natural resource management now and into the future:

‘Cool burning’ traditional fire management Cradle Coast NRM recently sponsored a group of six people from the Tasmanian Aboriginal community to attend an Indigenous Fire Management workshop in northern Queensland. The six representatives attended the week long workshop to learn a traditional fireburning technique, cool burning, in the hope it may be used statewide for fuel reduction and regeneration. With cool burning, the fire burns at a much lower intensity than the fuel reduction burns currently undertaken in Tasmania. The burns are kept to small circles of land, making them easier to control, and have been used for tens of thousands of years to prevent adverse impacts of wildfires and also maintain a healthy landscape. By blending traditional knowledge with modern science and technology, cool burning provides a method of reducing the fire load and fuel whilst working with the landscape. The technique can be applied to many landscapes and may be of value on both private and reserve lands. The Fire Management workshop was very significant to the Aboriginal Land Council as it not only provided an opportunity for the transfer of fire management skills directly between Indigenous communities but also allowed the knowledge to be brought back to Tasmania where the practice had disappeared. Cool burning is currently being tested on Tasmanian Aboriginal land. Cradle Coast NRM is working with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community towards the next phase of this work including potential trial burns in collaboration with a variety of Tasmanian Land Managers.

Feature Story

modern science Mapping the future Cradle Coast NRM was recognised as a technology leader at the annual Australian Environmental Systems Research Insitute (ESRI) user conference held in Adelaide in early October. ESRI Australia’s Pure GIS conference celebrated the best of the Australian spatial industry - showcasing what’s possible when technology and ingenuity are combined. Cradle Coast NRM’s Dr Ernst Kemmerer and Mark Wisniewski were invited to share Cradle Coast NRM’s Mapping Gallery with the event’s nationwide audience as a leading example of technology that benefits local communities.

tablet applications and are now delivering GIS into the classroom via interactive smartboards. Tools such as GIS put Cradle Coast NRM at the forefront of planning and managing urban areas and regional landscapes in order to help build resilient communities now and into the future. Visit the Cradle Coast NRM Mapping Gallery at

GIS or Geographic Information System technology allows natural resource management information to be presented in a simple, visual and interactive format. By integrating GIS web maps with text, pictures, and videos people are able to connect directly with the landscape, almost as if they are physically there. An important feature of the Cradle Coast NRM Mapping Gallery is the ability to link the community to current knowledge about the environment, whether that is fire planning, agricultural productivity, or NRM activities. Cradle Coast NRM can teach audiences about the benefits of managing natural resources via desktop, mobile or

Erns t Kem mer er Mar k Wisn iew ski & Dr



Whale of a time at Cooee Primary School Cradle Coast NRM and Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Discovery Ranger John Bowden celebrated National Biodiversity Month on September 19 by taking Cooee Primary School kids to the beach to learn everything they could about whales. 120 students from Kinder to Grade 6 plus teachers and parents participated in fun educational activities at the beach located directly across the road from the school. Ranger John’s beach activities included making sand sculptures of whales and dolphins, comparing sizes of the different species and participating in the school’s very own ‘whale rescue’. Cooee Primary School has a vision to make their students experts on their patch of coast and help them learn everything they can about the marine wildlife in the local area. Cradle Coast NRM whale expert, Dionna Newton, also recently visited the Grade 5/6 class to teach them about environmental issues that affect whales.

Image: Sherrie Jaffray

The excitement of being able to witness the migration of whales right outside their school combined with beach activities and classroom visits are certainly helping generate lots of enthusiasm in the whole school. Students have produced wonderful whale paintings and are in the process of making their own brochures about whales.

To find out more about Cradle Coast NRM’s School’s Program contact Sherrie Jaffray on 6433 8400 or

Students in Science – NRM Environmental Award Winners Cradle Coast NRM and Cradle Coast Authority were proud sponsors of the UTAS Science Investigation Awards held this year on 4 September. The awards, that recognise scientific inquiry in young minds, had a record number of entries in 2014 with 220 science investigations, 18 schools, 400 students and 30 teachers participating on the day. Students have the opportunity to share their love for science by presenting their investigation to the judges in a professional, interactive and positive manner. They must present their work clearly and be able to articulate and explain what they have done and why. Cradle Coast NRM and Cradle Coast Authority provided sponsorship for the Best Environmental projects in each year level, and the Best Environmental project overall. Environmental science projects provide the opportunity for students to investigate

ways to better understand and look after our natural resources including biodiversity, land and coastal environments – and help foster the passion of our next generation of Environmental Scientists. The overall Best Environmental Project was awarded to Grade 10 student, Warawut Chomkul from Wynyard High School for his project ‘Paddock to Power: Biogas from farm waste’. Warawat found the idea of biogas so interesting he decided to test the theory at his family property. Over a period of one month the budding scientist used vegetable peel, grass and manure to generate biogas and measured the amount produced. Although Warawat found the judging of the UTAS Science Investigation Awards a little nervewracking he still one day hopes to pursue a career in environmental science, physics or computer science. For now though he is happy spending his prize money on a telescope as he is also ‘into’ astronomy.

Small landholders or ‘lifestylers’ own significant amounts of land in North West Tasmania and Cradle Coast NRM collaborates with as many as possible to help keep their land healthy and avoid future problems. Tom O’Malley, Regional Landcare Facilitator has been running a Small Landholder Property Management Planning Program this year, with

Sustainable Agriculture

Growing smallholder networks and knowledge

participants taking part over three weekends. Philip and Kerry Jewell own a 72 acre property in Preston and joined the program after relocating from the mainland at the beginning of 2014. For Phillip the course presented an opportunity to learn more about his property and also to help find a network of people who would be happy to answer questions and give advice. Phillip and Kerry are currently agisting neighbours’ stock on half of their land, and leaving the other half as nature reserve. They are interested in developing an eco-tourism venture, running traditional skills workshops and employing permaculture principles but as a result of the Property Management Planning Program they’ve determined that wallaby fencing will be their first priority. The Small Landholder Property Management Planning Program will be run again in early 2015. If you are a small landholder in the Cradle Coast region and you are interested in taking part, please contact Tom via email at


Upcoming Events

Staff R ichard In gram Executi v e O f f i c e r


G ra nt P e arc e Opera ti on s M an age r

Wednesday 3 December Cradle Coast Authority Function Room 9.00am - 4.00pm A free workshop for land managers on identification of overstorey and major understorey tall shrubs to help with vegetation classification and species management. For further details contact Coastal Coordinator, Anna Wind at or on 6433 8400.

Identifcation of Trees Workshop

Er ns t K emm e re r S trategy & Im pl e me n t a t ion M a na g e r Apri l Lan ge rak I n formati o n M an ager

Let’s Celebrate Coastcare

W i l l Ho gg C oordi nato r: B i o di ve r s it y Anna Win d C oordi nato r: Co asta l Di o nna N e w to n Project Officer: Coastal, Estuarine & Marine

Friday 5 December Somerset Surf Life Saving Club 11.00am - 2.00pm Join Cradle Coast NRM to celebrate the work being done to look after our coastal and marine environment. A BBQ lunch will be provided. For further details see page 3. RSVP to Lauren Clarke by Monday 1 December on 6433 8400.

S herri e J af f ray Pr o j ect Of f i c e r: C o m m u nit y Ed u c a t ion


M ark Wi s n i e w sk i Pr o j ect Of f i c e r: G IS a nd N R M

Saturday 7 March 207 Ironcliffe Rd, Penguin The North West Environment Centre’s annual Organic & Sustainable Living Festival being held at their headquarters and community garden in Penguin. For further details visit

S pencer G i bbs C oordi nato r: Pro du c t iv e L a nd s c a p e s Br a d Gri f f i t h s Pr o j ect Of f i c e r: S u sta ina b le A g r ic ult ur e & GIS A nal y st Tom O’M al l e y R egi ona l L an dc are Fa c ilit a t or

Organic & Sustainable Living Festival

2015 - 2020 Regional NRM Strategy Tasmania has three Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions to advise priorities for investing in the environment, increasing community capacity, and co-ordinating NRM activities across the State. Each region produces its own five-year NRM Strategy. A process is underway to update the Cradle Coast regional strategy for 2015 - 2020 and we’d appreciate your input via a short three minute online survey.

Unless otherwise acknowledged, this publication and the projects featured are supported by Cradle Coast NRM, through funding from the Australian Government.

Go to and follow the links from the home page to have your say and go in the draw to win a Cradle Mountain accommodation voucher.

Postage Paid Australia

Cradle Coast NRM 1-3 Spring Street PO Box 338 Burnie TAS 7320

ph: 03 6433 8434 fax: 03 6431 7014 email: Cradle Coast NRM is an independent committee hosted by the Cradle Coast Authority

Profile for Cradle Coast Tasmania

Cradle to Coastlines - Edition 4, 2014  

Cradle Coast NRM's newsletter, Cradle to Coastlines. Edition 4, 2014.

Cradle to Coastlines - Edition 4, 2014  

Cradle Coast NRM's newsletter, Cradle to Coastlines. Edition 4, 2014.