Departmental media release archive
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5 December 2000
Today is International Volunteer Day - a day that also sees the global launch of the International Year of Volunteers 2001.
This event coincides with Coastcare Week - which highlights the actions, issues and successes of the national Coastcare program. Beginning in 1995 in most states, Coastcare now incorporates more than 2000 groups around the country which equates to nearly 60 000 volunteers involved in Coastcare!
Coastcare is a program of the Federal's Government's Natural Heritage Trust initiative in partnership with State/Territory and Local Governments. It supports community involvement in coastal management and protection. Community grants and a network of 30 Facilitators help the community to get involved in projects such as dune rehabilitation, coastal planning and marine monitoring.
Coastcare would like to thank and acknowledge the tremendous efforts of all the volunteers working on Coastcare projects and other environment works Australia. But there is always more work to be done in looking after our environment! Coastcare is calling on the public to be inspired by the thousands of people across the world who volunteer their time to worthy causes and encourages you to get involved too.
Coastcare Week spokesperson, Mimi Macpherson, said, "Coastcare is a fun and effective way to help manage and protect our precious coastal and marine environments. It's a great way to spend your spare time - on the coast, meeting people and helping the environment.
"I urge everyone to take the challenge and join a Coastcare group today! For more information about Coastcare, especially joining a group, call 1800 803 722," she said.
In Coastcare Week 2000, Coastcare is issuing a special S.O.S. to all Australians to help 'Save Our Shorebirds' by learning about and helping to protect our unique coastal bird life.
Ms Macpherson explained that Australia's shorebirds were under increasing pressure from human activity and coastal development, "Did you know that every time you go to the beach you could be harming or even killing our shorebirds and seabirds, just by walking in the sand or leaving litter behind?"
"Shorebirds such as Hooded Plovers and Pied Oystercatchers, and seabirds such as penguins, and pelicans can die from entanglement in fishing line, plastic bags and plastics such as 'six-pack' packaging and drink bottle rings and sadly their homes are under threat from increasing urban development."
"Coastcare encourages beach goers to always walk on the wet sand to avoid destroying shorebird nests and always keep dogs on a leash to protect vulnerable eggs and chicks. Also, make sure you take your litter home with you, especially fishing line," Ms Macpherson said.
Media enquiries to:
Media & Communication Officer
Ph: (02) 9412 1040 M: 0414 323 615
National Coastcare Manager
M: 0409 827 752
For interviews with Mimi Macpherson, contact Ross Woodward on (03) 9781 5140.