GOOD PEOPLE: Dedicated To Ecological Restoration

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The Sunshine Coast Environmental Council hosted several events to celebrate World Environment Day. One of the events on 17th June was a very memorable trip along Pumicestone Passage on the Ferryman.

Kabi Kabi man, Kerry Jones gave a welcome to country. It was heart-warming to hear of the cultural landscape mapping and protection that Kerry Jones (Dreamtime Tours) and Michael Strong (Turnstone Archaeology) are undertaking. They are mapping shell midden sites (the Shell Midden Project). Many of these sites are thousands of years old. They are time capsules showing a variety of sea creatures, tools, bones and other artefacts. The other thing to learn from Michael Strong is that there are stands of old growth cypress on Bribie Island. Michael and Kerry believe these ancient trees could be two thousand years old. It is vital that these ancient trees are recorded and preserved.

Corinne Byrne (Moreton Bay Regional Council) and Liz Gould (Healthy Land and Water) spoke about migratory shorebirds in Moreton Bay. The numbers of shorebirds have declined alarmingly over the last two decades. 95% of sites in Moreton Bay are threatened in one way or another. There is a decline in food available for our shorebirds. Building development has reduced sites for birds to feed and rest. They are also disturbed by people and dogs when they need to rest and eat after their long migrations. We can contribute to the preservation of habitat and the dissemination of knowledge about our shorebirds by joining the Queensland Wader Study Group. By helping collect data, we can help visitors and tourists realise the importance of our shorebirds.

Robbie Porter from OzFish spoke about the success of the Shellfish Reef Project. Oyster shells are collected from restaurants and cafes to create shellfish reefs. These reefs encourage the regrowth of aquatic plants and fish life. The reefs (and the growth of oysters) improve our water quality, fish numbers and reduce silt.

Other speakers were botanist, Paul Donatiu (Healthy Land and Water) who had a wealth of knowledge about native plants and trees.

Fire ecologist, Dave Kingston spoke about small scale burning (as was done by our indigenous people) to maintain healthy bush not the wild over hot fires that we have often seen used. It was a fabulous day. Thank you to the organisers, the Sunshine Coast Environmental Council. Particular thanks to Susie Chapman (Healthy Land and Water) for all her efforts. If you haven’t travelled the Pumicestone Passage on the Ferryman, you must. There is so much natural beauty on our doorstep.