Caring for our special habitat and its residents for 40 years!
29 June 2020
Today we are sending you links to four scientific studies that demonstrate the damaging impacts 4×4 (ORV) beach driving has on our LIVING beach.
See attached photos taken by a BIEPA member on Woorim’s main beach – demonstrating the damage just one vehicle can do. (This beach is NOT designated as a highway by the Queensland Government. However, 4x4s have 24/7 access to Ocean Beach with ~ 3,000 on Australia Day 2019.)
Off-Road Vehicle use is arguably one of the most environmentally damaging human activities undertaken on sandy beaches worldwide. Existing scientific studies focused on areas of high traffic volumes have demonstrated significantly lower abundance, diversity, and species richness of the fauna in zones where traffic is concentrated.
A Western Australian scientist concludes: ‘Given the choice between either reducing traffic volumes, or excluding ORV traffic from beaches, our results suggest that the latter would be more appropriate when the retention of ecological integrity is the objective.’
That is: Should 4×4 beach driving be allowed to continue to destroy and sterilise Bribie Island’s Internationally, Nationally and State protected Ocean Beach?
“There is a growing body of evidence on the nature and extent of environmental degradation caused by ORVs (Off-Road Vehicles) on beaches, including geomorphological changes; destruction of dune vegetation; and impacts on wildlife such as turtles, birds and invertebrates.” Schlacher et al.
LIFE IN THE INTERTIDAL ZONE.
23 June 2020
19 June 2020
4×4 PANDEMIC – DEATH TO BRIBIE ISLAND’S OCEAN BEACH
For more than 6 years BIEPA has been lobbying the Queensland Government to address the serious issues relating to the destruction 4×4 recreational beach driving has caused to Bribie Island’s environmental, social and economic health.
Attached is a poster and excerpt from a study and links to assist you in understanding our concerns. We hope you find the information informative.
from your BIEPA Management Committee
Lyrebirds are both beautiful and sometimes fierce! They have to be because they’re up against a lot.
Females take four or five years to begin breeding and prefer long-unburnt vegetation, where they lay only one egg each year. And both baby and mum are targets for a whole host of predators, even when the undergrowth is thick and protective.
Now, with so much of their forest homes burnt, they’re in desperate need of refuge. With the summer fires destroying vital vegetation, lyrebird populations may be impacted for decades.
We look forward to engaging online with you all so mark you calendars and ready your couches to join us for an inspiring weekend to celebrate our beautiful world.
Thank you to our sponsors Sunshine Coast Council and Queensland Water and Landcarers.
Photo credit: Diane Oxenford
In celebration of World Turtle Day on May 23, we would like to draw your attention to a sand dune stabilisation project underway at Bribie Island’s Woorim Beach. Healthy Land and Water is supporting the Bribie Island Environment Protection Association (BIEPA) and the Barung Landcare Skilling Queenslanders for Work team to deliver the Woorim Beach Dune Rehabilitation Project, funded by the National Landcare Program and Moreton Bay Regional Council. The project aims to enhance the area for turtle nesting by reducing dune erosion and artificial light spill through weed control and revegetation.
Bribie Island lies within the internationally recognised listed Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland, one of the most important feeding and nesting grounds for marine turtles along the east coast of Australia. Green turtles graze on seagrass while loggerheads eat the shellfish, crabs, sea urchins, and jellyfish that live in seagrass meadows.
Two hectares of sand dunes will be stabilised along the beach at Woorim through comprehensive manual weeding, drilling, and chemical weed management where appropriate, followed by revegetation. Healthy dune systems will provide stable nesting habitat for the internationally endangered loggerhead turtles. As temperatures rise the subtropical beaches will become even more important for maintaining healthy populations with gender balance, as the sex of turtles is determined by the nest temperature and a range of other conditions.
As a result of the diminished vegetation along the coast, artificial light from the street and houses can spill onto the beach. When turtles hatch, they can head towards this artificial light instead of the light on the horizon out to sea. Turtles will usually only choose to nest on dark beaches. Building the height of the native dune vegetation will help prevent artificial light from spilling onto the beach.
Photo credit: Diane Oxenford
President of BIEPA Diane Oxenford has been the main turtle monitor for Bribie Island since 2008 and has driven this project. Over the years, Diane has developed extensive knowledge and expertise through training with the Department of Environment and Science turtle expert Dr. Colin (Col) Limpus.
“The numbers of endangered Loggerhead Turtles of the South Pacific Ocean that nest along beaches in South East Queensland are diminishing. In 1977 it was estimated there were 3,500 nesting loggerhead turtles. Today the number is estimated to be around 500,” says Diane.
Diane says it is important this work and funding is considered long-term, if not a permanent commitment.
“The more dune available for a storm event to consume, the more likely it is the dunes will recover and maintain their stability and ability to protect the built environment and provide healthy habitat for wildlife. It is important to prevent costly engineered solutions to beach erosion. It would be so sad to lose Woorim’s natural bush setting,” says Diane.
Thanks to the extraordinary teams of volunteers who work on the coast every turtle nesting season from November through to April the numbers of hatchlings that make it to the ocean have increased by thousands over the past 15 years.
This Woorim Beach Dune Rehabilitation Project will be completed by June 2020, delivered with appropriate COVID-19 measures in place. The site will also be maintained by revegetation for years, as there is a lot of wallaby grazing in the area.
If you would like to learn more or find out how you can be involved post COVID-19, please get in contact with BIEPA.
This project is supported by the Bribie Island Environment Protection Association (BIEPA), Barung Landcare, and Healthy Land and Water through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare program and Moreton Bay Regional Council.