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Coastcare Week Group Stories: Casuarina Coastal Reserve Landcare Group

  • 1.  Coastcare Week Group Stories: Casuarina Coastal Reserve Landcare Group

    Posted 07-12-2023 09:15

    Casuarina Coastal Reserve Landcare Group

    The Casuarina Coastal Reserve Landcare Group operates on Larrakia Country near Darwin. Managed by NT Parks and Wildlife, the group engages in planting, extensive weed control, watering, and fuel reduction efforts to protect the plants.

    The Reserve is favoured among locals, attracts thousands of interstate and overseas visitors who come for sunsets, the bush, and the wildlife. Notably, sea turtles nest on the beach, mere hundreds of meters away from one of the group’s revegetation sites. The Landcare Group concentrates its efforts on two distinct sites, one situated near the mangroves and monsoon forest, and the other located in the dunes by Darwin Harbour.

    In 2023, the group successfully organised two clean-up events along Sandy Creek, each boasting participation from over twenty volunteers. On both occasions they collected hundreds of kilograms of rubbish. This is a very popular annual event because the rubbish stays out of the creek, the mangroves and Darwin Harbour. This imperative to keeping the sea and beach safer for sea turtles, crabs, dugongs, dolphins, and birds.

    During May, Landcare volunteers collaborated with Park rangers to conduct a controlled burn at the revegetation site. This reduced the fuel load and helped protect the young trees from arson.

    Throughout the year, they had fourteen working bees and numerous site visits to care for the trees, with an estimated 560 volunteers hours invested in caring for the Reserve.

    Sadly, in recent years, many of the iconic Casuarinas in the Reserve have been killed by fires lit by arsonists, so this year they planted nearly a hundred Casuarina seedlings. The group is doing their bit to restore some of the habitat needed by the resident wildlife and appreciated by visitors.

    The group is working in partnership with Parks and Wildlife on the “Adopt A Spot” project to control Gamba Grass outliers in the Reserve. They are also managing a commercial weed spraying program to reduce fire fuel loads in the Reserve. The spray program is funded by the NT Government’s Community Benefit Fund.

    Deb Hall from the CCRLG said “Our group has made a difference to the Reserve in a good way. It’s exciting to see the birds at the sites, like Bush Stone Curlews nesting right in the middle of our revegetation site.

    Landcare has its own rewards, we enjoy being by the sea and doing our bit to look after the local environment and spending time with likeminded people. New volunteers are always welcome.

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    [City] NSW