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Mornington Peninsula Intrepid Landcare

Lance sharing all things Water-stewardship with Intrepid Landcare campers

By Chantal Morton- Mornington Peninsula Landcare

Twenty-two young people were lucky enough to join Mornington Peninsula Intrepid Landcare on a Nature Connection Camp. The aspiring young conservationists experienced an immersive experience with nature through activities that showcase local natural environments and the opportunity to see the positive work being done in this space. Starting 1st of April, two jam packed days full of activities inspired the group to take positive action for the environment. The camp commenced with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony with Bunurong Land Council. Then off to the Dolphin Research Institute followed by a boat trip to Seal Rocks. After a picnic lunch, Westernport Biosphere’s Lance Lloyd offered his insights into all things water ecology, including blue carbon, water stewardship, Ramsar values and biodiversity enhancement.

Intrepid Landcare campers made light work of the Bluebell Creeper (Billardiera heterophylla) on Woolley’s beach.

Jess Brady of the Western Port Biosphere then took the group on a guided bushland walk and weed control at Wooley Beach with ranger Arne. The group then returned to base, Iluka Camp and Retreat for dinner and informal campfire chats with several guest speakers. At nightfall the camp headed out one more time for an evening of spotlighting for animals with Parks Victoria ranger Casey Lee. The next day, the crew set off to the Uncommon Folk farm to hear about the farming collective and regenerative agriculture practices, including Cherry Road organic flower farm, rotational grazing, no-till farming, and whole of farm baseline measures of water, soils, carbon and biodiversity. The group planted a tree or two with Greg Holland of the Greens Bush to Arthurs Seat Biolink before heading off to Greens Bush meet Sean and Lionel from Living Culture to learn about bush tucker and finish off with a yidaki session. Thanks to Torello farm for nourishing us and to Melbourne Water for funding the project.

A Drought Resilience Initiative in the Fitzgerald Biosphere 

By Annie Leitch

Throughout the Fitzgerald Biosphere, over 1.13 million hectares make up our transition zone, host to communities produced from its main industries – mining, tourism and most of all agriculture. Agriculture in the southwest is currently a thriving sector but achieving sustainability requires proactive management of the many risks facing our farmers.  

Although above average rainfall was received in the past 2 years, climate models show high confidence that across southwest WA, there will be less rainfall in winter and spring and that annual rainfall will continue to decline until the end of the century.1 Compared with 40 years ago, the region has lost a third of its 10mm and 25mm rainfall events making its natural catchments less effective in addition to studies that have shown that for every one millimetre of lost rainfall about three millimetres of run-off are lost – consequently making it harder to fill dams.2 In this projected drying climate, re-engineering dams to capture more water and reduce evaporation will become increasingly necessary for best practise farming. 

With most dams built to the needs of more “traditional” farming systems with outdated temperature and rainfall data, supported by funding through the Federal Government’s Future Drought Fund, the Grower Group Alliance through the South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, is collaborating with Department of Primary Industries (DPIRD), the University of Western Australia (UWA), the Fitzgerald Biosphere Group (FBG) from Jerramungup (with 3 other regional partners elsewhere) and local farmers to roll out ‘WaterSmart Dams – making dams work again’. 

The project involves re-visiting existing dam technologies in dam expansion or re-design, as well as gathering relevant data. Additionally, the influence of good catchment design is recognised, along with the ability to be best placed to capture available rainfall, or even dews. Last but not least, the importance of quality cannot be underestimated (i.e. cropping and livestock), and this also forms a large part of this project. 

Overall, the WaterSmart Dams project represents an important collaboration between government, industry and local farmers to research and address the nuanced sustainability challenges our regional agriculture sector is facing, which makes it an extremely interesting project to follow for those within the Fitzgerald Biosphere.  

Drought resilience is the ability to adapt, reorganise or transform in response to changing temperature, increasing variability and scarcity of rainfall and changed seasonality of rainfall, for improved economic, environmental and social wellbeing. Drought Resilience Funding Plan (2020–2024)

To follow the project work, sign up to the project follower list here: 








[1] South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub Regional Industry Snapshots,

[1] South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub Regional Industry Snapshots,

Surf Safe Noosa hits the Festival of Surfing!

By Sharon Wright: Executive Co-ordinator

Our Noosa Biosphere friends, launched their Surf Safe Noosa seasonal calendar game wheel at the Noosa Festival of Surfing this month. This public education campaign is the culmination of nearly two years of planning development to implement the recommendations of the NBRF Marine Species Protection Symposium held in 2021.  

The Surf Safe Noosa campaign is a collaboration with Noosa World Surfing Reserve, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Shark Control Program, Noosa Council, Tourism Noosa, Surfrider Sunshine Coast and Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club.  

NBRF held a series of community workshops in August last year, facilitated by renowned shark expert Dr Andrew Chin of James Cook University.  

The seasonal calendar highlights the local surf conditions including water temp, wind direction, swell, best breaks, whale migration and fish breeding seasons. The key messages help locals and visitors to understand local conditions and stay safe in the water.

Surf Safe Noosa All Year Round is designed to complement the Noosa World Surfing Reserve’s mission to Share, Respect and Preserve our special place and to encourage surfers to follow the Noosa Shire Surf Safety Code. For more information about the code, head to 

NBRF also launched a schools outreach program with local surfing legend Kurt Barrow, leader of the Sunshine Beach State High School Surfing Excellence Program. The kids really enjoyed lining up the stickers on to the spinning game wheel and asked lots of great questions about how to safe in the water. Looks like its working?

You can download a copy of the Surf Safe Noosa Seasonal Calendar here or grab a copy at the Hastings St Visitor Information Centre if you’re in town! 

For more information on the Surf Safe Noosa campaign, check out their website: Surf Safe Noosa – Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation | Noosa, Qld 

Update from the Programs Manager

By Glenn Brooks-MacMillan, Program Manager

2022 saw the launch of a partnership project between the Biosphere Foundation and the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, funded by Bushbank. The project has been designed to empower the Bunurong team to better understand blue carbon ecosystems across Western Port, and to enable them to make decisions about restoration opportunities with Indigenous knowledge and perspectives framing the planning and land management techniques.

This quarter the Foundation and the Bunurong team have been building capacity and knowledge. We collaborated with Melbourne Water in Koo Wee Rup and were joined by our Water Stewardship expert, Lance Lloyd, for a training session in Water Stewardship to learn about how broader catchment issues impact coastal wetlands, affecting blue carbon efficacy and the Ramsar values of Western Port in particular. This prompted the Bunurong team to explore the idea of working on the drains and creeks feeding into Western Port around the Koo Wee Rup area. They hope to work closely with Cardinia Shire, who have recently launched the Koo Wee Rup Biolinks program to help identify opportunities for habitat connection and enhancement across the Shire. KWR biolink project map

The Foundation hosted a workshop in March with Deakin University’s Blue Carbon Lab, Bass Coast Landcare Network, and the Bunurong team. It was an opportunity for everyone to share information about what they are doing in the blue carbon space across Western Port. Here is an example of what Bass Coast Landcare Network are up to.

Blue Carbon Lab’s Craig Sherman recently released results from a large study carried out about seagrass across Western Port. The extent of seagrass habitat pre-European settlement has been unclear because of lack of data, but new findings show a clear picture of the range and coverage of seagrass pre-1970, which is when human impact really began across the region. There have been large losses of these ecosystems since 1970, but they are beginning to re-establish. The new data will enable better planning for restoring and enhancing this critical habitat into the future.

The Bunurong team plan to carry out a Water Stewardship plan for a site they own on Millowl, situated near Rhyll, in the next few months. They also aim to become more familiar with the coastal wetlands in the Rhyll area and the broader catchment issues impacting them. For example, the photo featured below is an aerial photo at the headwaters of Rhyll Inlet showing proximity to housing developments and a golf course. The area consists of a combination of pristine and degraded blue carbon ecosystems (shown in orange). Gaining access to this sort of information through Water Stewardship enables the team to begin to formulate a strategic plan to heal the land and waterways.