WATONGA ROCKS PROJECT at LIGHTHOUSE BEACH

This project is regenerating littoral rainforest and managing weeds in an area where sandmining was followed by the introduction of bitou bush decades ago.

Dunecarers were working to stabilise shifting sand dunes by planting natives in 1993. A photo taken at the walkway to the beach shows scattered Banksias and only bare earth along the sewer line.

To help protect the dunes and vegetation, volunteers from Landcare and Douglas Vale built the surf viewing platform, funded by a grant from Council in 2004.

You can see the platform in the photo from 2005 of students from Port High, who mulched and planted seedlings from the fledgling Landcare Community Nursery.

Work resumed in 2009 with weed removal and native plantings along Matthew Flinders Drive by St Josephs Regional College and St Columba Anglican School. Council sprayed grass weeds and sent its water cart to working bees.

Landcare hired a bobcat to remove building waste and to spread mulch over a wide area, with funding from CFOC Reversing Rainforest Retreat. Logs were laid in erosion gullies to slow stormwater outflows and protect the densely- planted native seedlings.

Green Jobs Corps removed dead wattle trees and helped with revegetation, making a training video in the process.

Native groundcovers have returned and most planted seedlings survive, thanks to good rainfall. Landcarers are kept busy weeding and spraying.

Natural regeneration continues and many rainforest species are appearing. Our aim is to see resilient bushland in this important the wildlife corridor.

This reserve has been returned to Council Natural Resources Section's Bush Regeneration Team for ongoing maintenance.



The Watonga Crew