Tasmanian Landcare Champions Named Australia’s Top Coastcarers
Friends of Bass Strait Islands win 2022 Coastcare Award
25 AUGUST: Tasmanian landcare legends Friends of Bass Strait Islands (FOBSI) have been named the winners of the 2022 Coastcare Award at the National Landcare Awards Gala Dinner in Sydney last night.
FOBSI have contributed significantly to coastal repair and protection across the Flinders Island coastline and the Furneaux outer isles by cleaning up a substantial volume of marine debris in the area, along with undertaking extensive boxthorn and mirror bush removal to restore critical seabird habitat.
“It is an honour to receive the 2022 Coastcare Award in recognition of our work to repair our coastline and off-shore islands to protect and rehabilitate the habitat of breeding seabirds and fauna who call it home,” said Karen Ziegler, President of Friends of Bass Strait Islands.
“Our boxthorn removal project has been going on for two decades. Previously some of these areas were dominated by boxthorn to the point it was very unpleasant to move around, but you wouldn’t know it now because the regeneration of native plants has just been marvellous.”
“Our last trip to restore Roydon Island was significant because of the considerable increase in biodiversity. All the primary control of boxthorn has been completed and native vegetation is dominant across the 40-hectare island. The penguins nest in places we had never seen them before, cape barren geese and pacific gulls nest on the island in much greater numbers! It is really heart-warming and showed all of us how much of an impact our work has had in the area.”
“The work is achievable with persistence but now must be maintained by regular follow-up to remove weeds that will regenerate from soil stored seed and new weed introductions.”
Landcare Australia CEO Dr Shane Norrish congratulated FOBSI on their win and stressed the importance of their work in protecting Tasmania’s critical coastal ecosystems in light of growing environmental pressures.
“The impacts of climate change make community stewardship of our marine and coastal environments increasingly important, and the work Friends of Bass Strait Islands is doing is second to none,” said Dr Norrish.
“The dedicated volunteers from Friends of Bass Strait Islands are an inspiration to coastcarers across the country. Not only do they demonstrate outstanding environmental stewardship, but they are devoted to supporting and upskilling their local community to help expand the impacts of their fantastic work.
“Congratulations to Friends of Bass Strait Islands on your incredible coastcare achievements, and I look forward to hearing more about your ongoing success.”