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

Edition 4 • 2016

Feature Story Protecting our Marine Resources Pages 4-5

In this issue:

Photo Credit: Rick Stuart-Smith, Reef Life Survey

Wings on King


A n o t h e r B i g Ye a r f o r t h e Smallholder Field Day


New names for some Iconic Faces



Keen Interest in Renewable Energy More than 150 people saw micro-hydro power generation in action at the Cradle Coast NRM and CANWest Renewable Energy Field Day held in late October. A big thanks to Mike Tyler for hosting the event and sharing his experiences and passion! If you missed the field day but are keen to learn more about renewable energy systems including hydro, solar and wind power generation, here are some useful contacts from the day:

Darren Cooper TAS Energy and Heating mhturbines@bigpond.com Jack Gilding Tasmanian Renewable Energy Alliance – eo@tasrenew.org.au Tom O’Malley Regional Landcare Facilitator, Cradle Coast NRM tomalley@cradlecoast.com

Wings on King The health of an environment can be assessed by counting the number and variety of animal and bird species utilising it for food, shelter and breeding. The diversity and populations of birdlife on King Island will be checked and used as an on-going method of monitoring the island’s environmental health and sustainability by the Wings on King bird survey project that is being launched next April. Wings on King is a joint project of BirdLife Australia and the King Island NRM Group, with the launch being partially funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme and supported by Cradle Coast NRM. BirdLife members and experienced bird-watchers are being encouraged to visit King Island and monitor survey sites to record the number and variety of birds on the island. Survey sites are being established on both public and private land, with participants having rare access to some of the island’s most beautiful landscapes. At the project launch in April, in conjunction with field survey work, there will also be a seminar, workshops and

social activities taking place over the three-day event. Professor David Watson of Charles Sturt University in NSW and Dr Richard Donaghey from Tasmania will feature as guest speakers. Data collected from the surveys will be added to BirdLife Australia’s Birdata for use in the BirdLife Bird Indices and by the King Island NRM Group and interested researchers. The baseline information collected at the projects’ launch will be a valuable resource to compare against future surveys in monitoring population trends and the health of King Island’s biodiversity and natural resources long-term. WHAT: Wings on King WHEN: 28–30 April 2017 WHERE: King Island For details, including how you can take part, visit http://www.birdsofkingisland.com/wings-on-king or http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/atlas-and-birdata/ wings-on-king Photo Credit Raphaele Tolron



Another Big Year for the Smallholder Field Day Heavy spring rain did little to dampen the interest and enthusiasm of smallholders from across the region as they flocked to the 2016 Rural Living Round-up. Held at TasTAFE Freer Farm campus on 13 November, the biannual event again showcased the best of small-acreage land management techniques and information via a range of guest presentations, stalls and demonstrations. A key topic of the day had participants going back to basics with a focus on soil health and composition. Luke Taylor from AgAssist provided soil test interpretations and Dr Bill Cotching shared insights from an on-site soil pit and a collection of regional samples. Attendees also brought along soil samples from their own properties to learn about its pH, electroconductivity and organic carbon levels. This interest in soil was also extended to the young attendees with free activities for kids including soil acidity testing and water filtering. A crowd pleaser at the Round-up was the Giant Freshwater Lobster presentation by Todd Walsh featuring a live specimen. It was a treat to see such a magnificent creature close up; with the Lobster’s typical habitat being well hidden under fallen logs and other natural cover within Tasmania’s waterways. Participants heard how they could play their part in conserving the health of the Giant Freshwater Lobster’s habitat by fencing to keep livestock out of waterways and with riparian planting to provide shelter and riverbank stability. Cradle Coast NRM extends a big thank you to the many stallholders who shared their knowledge, products and interactive displays at the Rural Living Round-up. Information included an animal nursery, Land Information Systems Tasmania (LISTmap) demonstration, Natural State environmental consultations, biosecurity tips for apiarists, and microhydro and renewable energy system configurations among many others. We look forward to seeing you again at the next Rural Living Round-up!

“Any question asked at the Rural Living Round-up is a good question because it shows that land managers are keen to learn more and keep doing better.” Tom O’Malley, Regional Landcare Facilitator and Rural Living Round-up coordinator.


Feature Story Marine Debris collected from Pardoe Beach | Photo Credit Kent Wood

Protecting Our Marine Resources Cradle Coast NRM’s work doesn’t stop at the region’s shorelines. As defined in the regional Natural Resource Management Strategy, a key pillar of resource management activity takes place in our marine and estuarine environments both under the water and along the coast. The health of these environments is intrinsically linked to land management practices such as those resulting in sediment and nutrient run-off, and to human behaviours such as littering resulting in harmful debris, especially plastics, polluting the marine ecosystem. Cradle Coast NRM coordinates both prevention (education) and conservation (action) projects that raise awareness of the threats facing our marine environment and help to reduce the threat of marine debris across the region.

Reducing the threat of marine debris Marine debris clean-ups have long been on the radar of Cradle Coast NRM’s Beachwatch project; involving community and industry volunteers from as far afield as East Devonport and Macquarie Harbour. Tassal, Petuna and Huon Aquaculture all have Adopt a Shorelines areas near their leases in Macquarie Harbour and undertake marine debris clean-ups on an annual basis. Tassal recently embarked on a clean-up in September outside of their Adopt a Shoreline area that took 4 people 4 days to collect and sort a massive 12 cubic metres of historic marine debris.


Cradle Coast NRM are working with the fish farms and community stakeholders to coordinate a Big Macquarie Harbour Marine Debris Clean up from 1-8 April 2017. The clean-up was initiated by Tassal and aims to clean-up historic debris from 12 locations. The project is supported by Cradle Coast NRM, Petuna, West Coast Yacht Charters and PWS. The Beachwatch project has generated great results with large quantities of man-made debris removed from the environment. This success inspired the launch of Cradle Coast NRM’s Beachwatch project which continues today thanks to community participation in conducting the twice-yearly clean-ups at their adopted beaches. Participants not only remove harmful litter but also keep a record of debris collected which is sent off to inform national litter-control efforts of the Tangaroa Blue Foundation.

“Everyone in the community can help protect coastal and marine life. Please think about how you dispose of rubbish, plastics in particular, and if you can pick up litter when out and about and put it in the bin, you are also helping. A big thank you to those who already do this.” – Dionna Newton, Coast, Estuarine & Marine Project Officer

Focus on plastic A common source of marine debris is plastic which is incapable of breaking down or biodegrading. Instead it continues to fragment into ever-smaller pieces, posing a risk to seafood if it enters the food chain, and therefore also a risk to human health.

Feature Story

Photo Credit Leah Page

The recent Senate Enquiry into marine debris generated important recommendations, many of which reinforce the importance of action and data collection. The Beachwatch and Macquarie Harbour clean-up projects are doing their bit to reduce the threats posed by marine debris, to the benefit of sea-life and people everywhere. Cradle Coast NRM also conducts and supports education sessions in schools on the importance of disposing of waste correctly and how to best care for our ocean environment. To find out more about Cradle Coast NRM’s Beachwatch project, visit www.cradlecoastnrm.com/beach-watch-home

Studying the impacts on reef life Another key component of Cradle Coast NRM’s coastal, estuarine and marine work is to build local knowledge and skills to ensure the longevity and sustainability of any conservation efforts. So when a Reef Life Survey was proposed to be conducted at Rocky Cape, Cradle Coast NRM was more than happy to help train local divers to develop reef survey methods and technical capabilities. Reef Life Surveys rely on volunteers as citizen scientists to capture high quality, credible information on reef systems around Australia and the world. This data is then publicly and freely available to scientific and research institutions for use in studies; providing a valuable resource that would often be cost and time prohibitive to collect directly. The Rocky Cape survey results were presented at a public showing in Burnie by Dr Rick Stuart-Smith, Executive Officer of the Reef Life Survey Foundation and Marine Scientist at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania. Surveys of Rocky Cape will be repeated in March 2017 in addition to reef system studies being conducted by the University of Tasmania in the Cradle Coast region; all of which help us to understand, appreciate and protect our special underwater environments. To view the results of the Rocky Cape and other Reef Life Surveys, visit http://reflifesurvey.com/ To find out more about the range of marine programmes underway at Cradle Coast NRM, contact Dionna Newton – Coast, Estuarine & Marine Project Officer – at dnewton@cradlecoast.com

Leah Page’s PhD research at the University of Tasmania is fostering collaboration among a coastal stakeholder collective to imagine future marine litter education in Tasmania. This research is supported by the Alcorso Foundation and Bookend Trust.


Project update

New Names for Some Iconic Faces Primary school students across North West Tasmania are putting their creative talents to the test to name three new mascots that represent the region’s diverse environments. The mascots were developed by graphic artist, Katie Houghton-Ward, to symbolise the three pillars of natural resource management – the land, the water and the sea – in a way that is both engaging and educational for children. This is the latest initiative in a comprehensive youth education programme coordinated by Cradle Coast NRM to develop environmentally responsible leaders of the future. Led by Cradle Coast NRM’s Education Project Officer, Sherrie Jaffray, the programme combines

Meet the mascots Giant Fresh Water Lobster Representing the region’s water resources of rivers, wetlands and groundwater. This species is unique to North West Tasmania and is the largest fresh water invertebrate on Earth, capable of growing up to 5kg! Known local threats: water sedimentation and eroded, exposed river banks.

Spotted Tail Quoll Representing the region’s varied land resources and landscapes. This species is the second largest carnivorous marsupial living today and is listed as v ulnerable due to declining numbers on the mainland. Known local threats: feral cats.

Little Penguin Representing the region’s coastal, marine and estuarine resources. Highly regarded by locals and tourists, the penguins have colonies along the coast including in the populated centres of Burnie, Devonport and Stanley. Known local threats: marine rubbish and uncontrolled cats and dogs around nesting sites.


events and activities to help schools run their own sustainability programmes, take part in the annual Kids Teaching Kids event, and participate in Schools Clean Up Australia Day, World Oceans Day and National Science Week among others. The mascot naming competition was introduced to schools in October with winners announced in December. In addition to receiving an individual prize pack including nature books and stationery, the winning students will also be enjoying a visit to their school from Parks and Wildlife Ranger, John Bowden, to hear all about the three mascot species.

Twelve students from Sassafras Primary School celebrated their science success as part of a National Kids Teaching Kids event in Melbourne. The students were the only class from the north west coast to attend, with one other class from Southern Tasmania. The National event attracted 600 students and teachers from all states of Australia. Cradle Coast NRM sponsored the students following their outstanding effort in delivering their two activities, Water Warriors and Burrowing Crayfish, at our regional Kids Teaching Kids event in September, under the guidance of teacher Karen Kleinman.

Cradle Coast NRM’s Youth Education Program aims to inspire and upskill our next generation of environmental leaders. The power of students teaching each other should not be underestimated. Students learn so much more and faster from their peers.

Project update

Our Students on the National Science Stage

Cradle Coast NRM plans to hold Kids Teaching Kids in the region again next September. If your school is interested in participating, contact Sherrie Jaffray at sjaffray@cradlecoast.com


Upcoming Events

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W i l l Ho gg C oordi nato r: B i o di ver s it y

NOT-YET-KNOTS What: A Tidal Festival event sponsored by Cradle Coast NRM

Anna W in d C oordi nato r: Co astal

Cost: free event

Di o nna N e w to n Project Officer: Coastal, Estuarine & Marine S herri e J af fray Proj ect Of fi c e r: Co m m unit y Ed u c a t ion M ark W i s n i e w sk i Proj ect Of fi c e r: G IS a nd N R M S pencer G i bbs C oordi nato r: Pro du c t iv e L a nd s c a p e s Tom O’M al l e y R egi ona l L an dc are Fa c ilit a t or

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Date: Monday 23 January – Time: 12:00pm–4:00pm Location: Devonport Regional Gallery Inspired by the beautiful and functional knots of the nautical kind, the Team Textiles artists will have you devising your own crazy and unique rope tying method to make a twisted and tangled knot creation. Using a range of ropes, materials and ocean debris, you will create and name your individual knot which will be put on public display. Show others how it’s done with a step-by-step illustrated how-to guide that un-ties the mystery of your never before seen knot.

April Wings on King Date: 28–30 April 2017 Location: King Island

Cradle Coast NRM is a business unit of the Cradle Coast Authority.

Wings on King is a joint project of BirdLife Australia and the King Island NRM Group, funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme and supported by Cradle Coast NRM. BirdLife members and experienced birdwatchers are being encouraged to visit King Island during the survey event and monitor survey sites to record the number and variety of birds on the island.

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

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

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

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Cradle to Coastlines - Edition 4, 2016  

Cradle Coast NRM's newsletter, Cradle to Coastlines. Edition 4, 2016.

Cradle to Coastlines - Edition 4, 2016  

Cradle Coast NRM's newsletter, Cradle to Coastlines. Edition 4, 2016.