Connector Newsletter – Issue 12

January – March 2017


From the Executive Officer

Updated Strategy and Business Plan
At the Annual General Meeting in November 2016 we advised that, during the last year, the Board had been working on updating the Foundation’s Strategy and development of a Business Plan.

The Strategy and Business Plan have been completed and signed off by the Board. Together, they will help guide the direction of the Foundation’s activities in the coming years. Both are available on the website.

Funding
Those who attended the AGM would recall that the Chair highlighted that the Foundation was experiencing cash flow problems.

As many of you would know, working in the not for profit sector is always a continuous struggle to secure funding for operational overheads or ‘core funding’. The Foundation, like many other organisations, faces this issue.

As reported at the AGM, the Board has been engaged in seeking funding from a variety of sources and is continuing to meet with stakeholders to try to secure the necessary funding for the Foundation’s operations. Individuals can show their ongoing support either by becoming a member or renewing their membership. Remember that all donations to the Foundation are tax deductible.

You will be aware of an Extraordinary General Meeting of members that has been called for 31st January 2017 to provide members and stakeholders with an updated report on the current position and to seek support for the Board to take the actions it considers are required.

Your attendance and support in this matter will be appreciated by directors and staff.

Cecelia Witton, Executive Officer, Western Port Biosphere


Growing Connections

Over the past few months the focus of the Growing Connections Project has shifted to planning for the end of the current projects, the completion of our targets and planning for the future.

Key outcomes achieved over this period:

  • The Western Port Pest Animal Control Group met in November 2016 (see below for more information). Meetings have been held with both the Boon Wurrung Foundation and Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation looking at potential partnerships and future engagement.
  • On ground works are continuing, including fox control around Tooradin. A new on ground revegetation project at Downs Estate in Frankston was also approved and works will commence soon on this exciting new project.
  • Planning and formulating future project opportunities with our Growing Connections partners including the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRSCI), state government departments, and local councils. We are also exploring opportunities with new partners for future projects.
  • Monitoring data has been consolidated and the final formatting is underway for analysis. Ecology Australia has been engaged to undertake this work and the results will be available by the end of June 2017.

Western Port Pest Animal Group
A Western Port Pest Animal Group (previously known as Western Port Ark) meeting was held in November and attended by 12 people representing the major land managers in the Biosphere Reserve working on pest control. Guest speaker, Jessica Keysers, Researcher & Project Manager from the CRC for Spatial Information, demonstrated how the Biosphere’s tablets are used to record fox control and monitoring data.

There was discussion around the possible uses of the data from standardising to amalgamating the results of everyone’s work. There was enthusiasm for seeing this occur and Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne and Mornington Peninsula Shire Council volunteered to trial the tablets and record their data on the Biosphere’s platform.

Some technicalities of incorporating other organisations’ data are still to be established and we are seeking funding to progress with this. Good collaborative outcomes were also reached for future works.

Fox Control
Mal’s Ecological & Environmental Services Pty Ltd was commissioned by the Western Port Biosphere’s Growing Connections Project to undertake a 12 month fox control program throughout the Tooradin region, beginning in May 2016. The project was designed to help protect Southern Brown Bandicoots and to gather baseline Red Fox data and it has involved engaging private land holders to allow bait stations to be set up and monitored on their properties.

The project is progressing well, with the results thus far clearly showing that approximately 37 foxes have been eliminated from the area using 1080 fox baits.

Chris Chambers, Growing Connections Project Officer, Western Port Biosphere


Ramsar

Fox Facts Poster
Continuing the theme of predator control and community engagement as a partner in the Australian Government funded Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority’s Protecting the Ecological Values of the Western Port Ramsar project, the Western Port Biosphere Reserve’s new Fox Facts poster provides some key facts about foxes and how urban and peri-urban residents can contribute to their control.

You can help us to spread the word by downloading the poster from our website and displaying it in appropriate places in your community (please ensure you have permission to do so first!).

Northern Western Port Boat Trip
In late October 2016 the Western Port Biosphere Reserve hosted an information session while cruising Western Port on the Tidemaster. The 30 participants on board enjoyed informative talks about marine life, aquatic pests, carbon capture in the mudflats, mangroves and seagrass beds, research on Quail Island, the Ramsar Management Plan, Mapping Australia’s Ocean Wealth project and the Biosphere’s Water Stewardship project.

It was a wonderful opportunity for community members to learn about research being undertaken in their area. But, equally important, it provided scope for locals to share their knowledge with scientists and fellow community members, and for scientists to learn what research each other is doing.

This boat trip was made possible through the Australian Government funded Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Management Authority project, Protecting the Ecological Values of the Western Port Ramsar Site. The Western Port Biosphere is a partner in the project, our role being to engage the northern Western Port coastal communities to better understand the values of Western Port and the threats it faces.

Sally Jacka, Project Officer, Western Port Biosphere


Water Stewardship

The Water Stewardship Program is now actively working in multiple catchments – Watson Creek, Balcombe Creek, Langwarrin Creek, Hastings North, Merricks Creek (and Hastings South), Cardinia Creek and Bunyip River. We have also been visiting candidate locations and stakeholders in new catchments as well as preparing the necessary background and support information in each of these catchments, and we have the capacity to include water stewards in these areas if there is interest. If you wish us to visit and explain water stewardship to you, and its benefits to your site, please email lancel@biosphere.org.au or contact the office on 03 5979 2167.

We are fortunate to have had help with this from John Nguyen, a work placement student through Monash University and Chris Dixon, a recent graduate who is assisting with a range of tasks on the project. We thank John, whose placement has finished, but Chris will be with the project for a few months at least.

Several new water stewards are developing site water stewardship plans, including Parnham Farms in the Watson Creek Catchment, Coolart Wetlands and Homestead in the Merricks Creek Catchment and Dewhurst Farm in the Cardinia Catchment. We have two or three other sites which have committed to undertaking site water stewardship plans and we will announce these in the next issue of Connector and on Facebook.

Events
As mentioned elsewhere in this Connector, International Nitrogen Conference (CMA and DEDJTR) delegates visited two water stewardship sites in December. I spoke to the delegates about the Water Stewardship Program, and our water stewards talked about their plans for water stewardship and provided a tour of their sites.

Free Water Stewardship Training
Together with the Alliance for Water Stewardship we will be delivering training sessions for water stewards over the next few months. Our workshops provide background information on water stewardship and how to use the International Water Stewardship Standard, along with help with the application and development of individual site water stewardship plans. If you would like to participate in our water stewardship program, our free training workshop is the perfect springboard to develop your plan. Please contact lancel@biosphere.org.au if you are interested.

Lance Lloyd, Water Stewardship Project Officer


Biosphere signs up to TAKE2

The Western Port Biosphere Reserve is proud to have signed up and pledged to TAKE2, the government’s climate change pledge program that encourages and supports all Victorian individuals and organisations to voluntarily commit to tackling climate change.

Visit the Biosphere’s TAKE2 profile page to see what we’ve pledged.

If you would like to sign up as an organisation, community group or individual, visit the TAKE2 website to find out more.


Lifesearch 2016 winners

The Lifesearch 2016 awards were presented at the Western Port Biosphere Foundation’s Annual General Meeting on 18 November 2016.

Congratulations to all of the winners, and thank you to everyone who participated. Your efforts have made a significant contribution to our understanding of biodiversity in the Western Port Biosphere Reserve.

Perseverance Primary School won the Birdseach Shield for the second consecutive year.
Winner of the Lifesearch 2016 Individual Award was Geoff Lockwood.
Winner of the Lifesearch 2016 Team Award was Julie Trezise & family.
Susan Davies received special commendation for her Lifesearch observations.

In all, 166 species were recorded: 84 birds, 8 mammals, 4 reptiles, 1 amphibian and 69 plants.

We are proud to partner with the Atlas of Living Australia for Lifesearch. Observation data from Lifesearch is stored on the Atlas of Living Australia database.

The Biosphere would also like to thank Phillip Island Nature Parks and Andrew Isles Natural History Books for their generous prize donations again this year.

Lifesearch will be back in 2017. We look forward to your participation!


Mornington Peninsula Shire is going solar

Mornington Peninsula Shire will soon start the rollout of rooftop solar power on a number of Shire-owned and operated buildings.
71 buildings have been deemed suitable for rooftop systems which will see 920 kW of roof solar power installed.

The Shire will be seeking expressions of interest from solar providers for the first stage rollout in January 2017 and will see 168 kW of solar panels on 34 buildings across the Shire in the months following. Some of the community buildings receiving the solar panels during the first stage include: Somerville Mechanics Hall, Dromana Tourist Information Centre, Community Animal Shelter and Blairgowrie Community Hall.

It is estimated that, across the 34 sites for stage 1, the Shire will generate approximately 225,000 kWh per annum leading to estimated annual cost savings of $33,000. That equates to an approximate annual greenhouse gas saving of 268 tonnes CO2-e.

Via Mornington Peninsula Shire Council


Talking Rubbish to debunk recycling myths and misunderstandings

Frankston City Council recently released a series of short, humorous film clips called Talking Rubbish. These six clips feature your friendly talking recycling and garbage bins (aka Reece and GB). They aim to help local residents understand how to recycle right and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.

The Talking Rubbish series, with titles such as ‘Recycling Plastics – the Scrunch Test’, ‘Wasted Numbers’ and ‘Recycling Knight’, cover some of the tricky questions that continue to be confusing to people wanting to do the right thing.

So have a look, test your knowledge about recycling, rubbish and what goes where, and perhaps have a chuckle at the same time. You can see the clips at Talking Rubbish on Frankston City Council’s website.

Debbie Coffey, Environmental Education Officer, Frankston City Council


Mangrove Revegetation Project

For over a decade, the Western Port Seagrass Partnership (WPSP) has experimented to protect and restore damage to the water quality and eroded cliffs in the eastern arm of Western Port.

According to CSIRO and other recent studies, sediment levels in the marine waters have escalated since the 1970’s due to a combination of factors:

  • Significant sediment loads entering from the catchments, particularly the former Koo Wee Rup Swamp
  • Substantial and ongoing erosion of cliffs, especially those in an 8-kilometre section around Lang Lang, and
  • Re-suspension from tidal movement.

As a not-for-profit organisation, the WPSP has enjoyed considerable support from government grants, Esso and BlueScope to undertake experiments over 10 years. These have primarily focused on direct planting of seagrass and mangroves in vulnerable zones in the intertidal mud flats. The enthusiastic involvement of many hundreds of volunteers has been greatly appreciated in this learning exercise.

Our summer program continues to address the challenges. Over two days in January, 1,500 seedlings plus 600 seeds were directly inserted into the intertidal mud flats at strategic plots in Lang Lang and Grantville. Over 30 volunteers and partnership supporters braved hot weather to undertake this exercise.

There has been further interest and involvement from agencies and community interests including Parks Victoria, Deakin University, Port of Hastings, local groups, academics, and individuals. Innovative propagation methods have proven successful, conducted by Advance Nursery in Mornington.

If you would like to join this intriguing and valuable project, either by interest or on-ground involvement, visit our website www.seagrass.com.au or email info@seagrass.com.au.

Ian Stevenson, Chair, Western Port Seagrass Partnership


International Nitrogen Conference visits Western Port

Regional Landcare Facilitator Karen Thomas and I were delighted to assist with a field trip around Western Port as part of the International Nitrogen Conference held in Melbourne in December 2016.

The focus of the tour was Horticulture Land Use and Water Quality in the Western Port region. Delegates visited two sites that are participating in the Western Port Biosphere’s Water Stewardship Program to view their best practice water use efficiency. One of these was the Peninsula Fresh Organics farm, and there was much interest in their bio fertiliser brews and the landholder’s ability to use soil observational skills alongside his soil testing data to ensure that inputs match the crop needs.

Lunch was held in Tooradin overlooking Western Port, where I, along with Parks Victoria Ranger Thierry Rolland and Cecelia Witton, Western Port Biosphere’s Executive Officer, discussed the Ramsar Protection Program, management of public land and water stewardship projects.

We trust that the participants, from all reaches of the globe, enjoyed their day and learnt how land managers in our region are ensuring nitrogen efficiency on their farms.

Andrew Morrison, Environmental Projects Coordinator, PPWCMA


In the spotlight…

In this issue we talk with Lance Lloyd, the Biosphere’s Water Stewardship Project Officer,

Tell us a bit about your current role
In my role as project officer for the Water Stewardship Project I lead and co-ordinate all the project functions. An important part of what I do is to engage landholders and land managers to participate in the program, assist in the training of new water stewards once they’re on board, and undertake site visits to help them develop their site water stewardship plans. I also liaise with stakeholders and agencies to promote the project and enlist their help in identifying possible water stewards and implementing the water stewards’ plans.

What led you to become an ecologist?
I was very interested in aquatic environments, the sea and rivers from a small child and when given the opportunity to go to university and study science I jumped at it! I originally just worked on fish ecology but as time has gone on I have seen the importance in protecting catchment and aquatic system management to conserve and restore our aquatic systems. I still love working on fish as well as the wider catchment management and water management work I do!

Why is water stewardship important to you?
Water Stewardship is a great framework for direct actions in catchment management. Engaging farmers, land holders and organisations in better managing water on their properties is a vital link in the ways of improving our waterways.

What are you most proud of achieving with the Biosphere’s Water Stewardship Program?
I have been very pleased to have engaged so many wonderful people in the business of improving their waterways, and seeing all the good things water stewards are already doing to contribute to better water management on their sites and catchment conditions in general.

What are some of the ways people can get involved with water stewardship at home or in their community, organisation or business?
Well, anyone who is interested in becoming a water steward is encouraged to develop a Site Water Stewardship Plan (the Biosphere will help you with this), but for the general community the following things are also very helpful:

  • Become a Biosphere Member or Sponsor or make a donation
  • Support your local Landcare or community group (e.g. tree planting, protecting streamside vegetation)
  • Pick up litter near drains and waterways
  • Reduce your water consumption
  • Reuse rainwater – e.g. set up a rain garden
  • Plant native plants and groundcovers on your property to prevent sediment run-off from bare soil
  • Use less fertiliser (slow release fertilisers or organic matter are best)
  • Use natural alternatives to pesticides

Do you have a suggestion for someone we can feature in a future issue (whether they are an individual, or from a community group or organisation)? Please contact admin@biosphere.org.au and tell us briefly why you have nominated them and how they can be contacted.


‘i sea, i care’ Ambassador Program in Casey

The Dolphin Research Institute (DRI) and the City of Casey have a strong relationship through our ‘i sea, i care’ schools program, with 20 schools currently enrolled. Young ambassadors learn about the living marine treasures in our bays and waterways, the role of catchments and pollution, and more. They take this knowledge back to their schools and spread the word through peer-teaching, addressing their school assembly, talking to community groups, and even writing plays and performing songs.

The Ambassadors held their last official workshop for 2016 in Warneet. They spent the day learning about the local history of the indigenous people across 50,000 years and then further back in time to when megafauna and dinosaurs roamed the land.

They also got the opportunity to learn plant identification, pest species management and hands-on weeding of Sallow wattle, an invasive non-indigenous woody species in Warneet Reserve. The day was finished off with a well-earned BBQ.

Many thanks to David Westlake at the City of Casey, Dean Stewart from ATAEM, Asti Fletcher from Bunurong Coast Education, Rick Sissons from Parks Victoria and Sally McLeod from Warneet Friends Group for making this day not only possible but fantastic too.

Jenny Parsons, Communications Officer, Dolphin Research Institute


Woodlands Landcare

Langwarrin Woodlands and Northern Westernport Landcare Group has been selected to take part in the national rollout of the RHDV1 K5 Calicivirus, proposed for March 2017.

RHDV1 K5 is the Korean variant of RHDV1, and specific to the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuninculus). This strain works better in the cooler, wetter regions of Australia than the Czech strain of RHDV1 (V351), however it has a lower success rate (10-40%) so we will continue with a strategic, integrated approach to lessen the impacts of rabbit grazing to reduce pressure on native species. Fox control activities will also be increased concurrently.

Although formed just over a year ago, our Landcare group has already completed a fox and rabbit control program with support from the Port Phillip and Westernport CMA Community Grants, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme. Around 20 foxes have been trapped in Langwarrin, and we have seen reduced rabbit numbers, grazing and warren activity, and reduced fox presence both on camera and in scats and signs.

The prospect of seeing the return of the Southern Brown Bandicoot to our region is now more than a pipe dream, with two Southern Brown Bandicoots recorded by NRCL Biolinks research in Langwarrin in 2016. It is our focus and hope that with ongoing pest animal control, particularly rabbits and foxes, we will continue to see native populations return over time, particularly in Langwarrin, connecting the Pines and the Langwarrin Flora and Fauna reserves and Cranbourne Botanic Gardens.

With the group operating in the rural-urban interface, substantial communications will be required to ensure the community is well informed, particularly those with pet rabbits who will need to keep their pets permanently indoors or create a safe, vector-free environment.

Langwarrin Woodlands and Northern Westernport Landcare Group takes great pride in being situated within the Biosphere Reserve and will continue to strive for great results into the future.

Mariea Pacheco, President, Langwarrin Woodlands and Northern Westernport Landcare Group


Watson Creek Catchment Landcare

In 2016 the Watson Creek Catchment Landcare Group worked on a project funded by a Protected Species Grant. The project aims to provide more indigenous animal habitat for the Latham’s Snipe, an annual visitor from the northern hemisphere; Dwarf Galaxias, an endangered fish where water pollution in the creek threatens its survival here; Growling Grass Frogs, that are getting fewer in numbers; and White Throated Needletails, once common birds now rare in the area.

With Chisholm students and some unplanned but welcome help from a Green Army team, we planted over 3,000 trees and shrubs on two adjoining properties on the creek in Baxter and at another in Somerville, thus filling in more gaps in an effort to create a biolink along Watson Creek.

On a site in Moorooduc we planted out some areas along drains feeding into the creek to further extend the biolink area beyond the creek banks. This site also included community involvement to promote education of our ambitions to a wider audience.

Within the grant there was capacity to employ some professional weed specialists and a feral animal controller, both having more success than volunteers within the group would be able to achieve.

We also gave a presentation to a cub and scout group which was well received. This was the most successful year for our group since it was re-formed in 2013. There are encouraging signs from recent public interest that we can increase our membership and look forward to an even more productive future.

Ron Tyrell, Secretary, Watson Creek Catchment Landcare Group


Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands

The Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands are remnant wetlands of the once mighty Carrum Carrum Swamp which extended from Frankston to Mordialloc and out to Dandenong. They are one of the 11 Victorian wetlands that are protected by the Ramsar Convention and are unusual in that they are thriving urban wetlands.

Friends of the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands Inc (FESWI) formed in the late 1980’s and has been very active in protecting, enhancing and educating about the wetlands. In August (2016) FESWI was successful in reopening its bird hide on Edithvale Road in Edithvale after a five-year closure. The hide is on the very edge of the wetlands – its feet are often in water – and offers unparalleled views of bird life and opportunities for photography.

The hide is open to the public on Sunday afternoons, and on the first and third Saturdays each month from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Group bookings at other times can also be made via our web site www.edithvale-seaford-wetlands.org.

Robin Clarey, Vice President, Friends of Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands Inc


Book review

The following is an extract of Dr Mary Cole’s review of Harewood, Western Port: Stardust to Us by Patricia Macwhirter. Read the complete book review.

Through the chapters, one is taken on a journey woven in stardust, from the Big Bang 13.8 million years ago, through the evolution of our universe, our planet, our country to Western Port Bay and a house, Harewood, and today, 2016. This journey transports us through science, geology, and the history of our first people to tell of the contribution to the Western Port area made by a remarkable family, the Lyalls.

The author developed her story clearly, having stated early that this is an immigrant’s interpretation of a complex indigenous history impacted upon by invasion from Europeans and the development of parallel histories to this day.

She has been able to weave established science with the unwritten history of our first people but has also found a place for spirituality and faith in the narrative.

Geological time takes on a new meaning as one travels with Harewood on the giant continent of Pangaea during the Permian period to the Gondwanan continent in the Triassic period to the Australian continent and Western Port today.

The explanation of diversity of animals and humans around the globe is dealt with in such a way as to be of interest to all readers; why Australia had no animals suitable for domestication and how this affected the life style of the first people; and, contrary to common belief, the fact that aborigines did farm their land.

Pat’s family now are custodians of Harewood, weaving their own personal stardust into the future of Harewood. The amazing story of Harewood is compelling reading relevant to today. I commend this book to all of you.

Harewood, Western Port: Stardust to Us: Hilaka Press, 316 pages. RRP: $47.99 If you would like a copy you can email Pat at patvet@bigpond.com


Fairy Tern monitoring

BirdLife Australia have been successful in obtaining a TSPI Community Volunteer Action Grant to start a Fairy Tern monitoring project in Western Port and Port Phillip Bays.

Fairy Terns are a small, colonial beach-nesting bird which are threatened in Victoria with the number of breeding pairs estimated to be less than 150 and declining. As with other beach-nesting birds, the availability of suitable nesting sites along shorelines and coastal beaches are becoming increasingly limited due to habitat loss and modification, with suitability of sites varying between years. Furthermore, the nesting behaviours of Fairy Terns exposes them to a variety of threats including disturbance from recreational activities (including dog walking, horse riding, vehicles and general beach use), predators (including gulls, ravens, cats, foxes, dogs, rats, raptors) and nest inundation. Management and conservation of this species will require raising awareness of their vulnerability to disturbance and balancing recreational use at important breeding sites.

The Fairy Tern project aims to monitor the birds and their breeding success at sites within Western Port and Port Phillip Bays as well as recording the ecological characteristics of key sites, observing and evaluating threats to nesting sites and where appropriate, undertaking remedial action at breeding sites to enhance breeding success. It is envisioned that by improving the characteristics of Fairy Tern breeding habitat, it will provide greater opportunities for breeding and in turn bolster their overall limited numbers. This grant will enable the Fairy Tern steering committee to start collecting much needed scientific data on Fairy Terns in Western Port and Port Phillip Bays and start looking at how we can help these little beach-nesting birds during their breeding season.

As part of the community grant, a network of volunteers is being established to help monitor the nesting colonies and key breeding sites over the breeding season (late September – March). Additionally, the project is also interested in receiving any historical or current records of Fairy Terns within the study area.

For more information, or to submit any Fairy Tern records, please contact Amy Adams at amy.adams@birdlife.org.au or on (03) 9347 0757.

Amy Adams, Project Officer, BirdLife Australia


Downs Estate Community Project

Down’s Estate Community Project Inc. (DECP), formerly known as Down’s Estate Community Working Group, had its first tree planting event at Down’s Estate in November 2016. After four years of working towards a community project on this 20 hectare old farm site, this was a very momentous occasion!

A last minute opportunity was given to our group to plant approximately 20 native trees near the Eel Race Road end of the Estate, west of the shared user path under our Frankston Environmental Friends Network (FEFN) banner. It was our first ‘spades in the ground’ working bee and so marks a milestone for this project and for the revegetation/restoration of parts of the Estate.

A big thank you to the 10 people who were able to attend, and for their genuine goodwill and help – great team effort and thanks to Kim from the Indigenous nursery and David Fairbridge from Frankston City Council for assisting us with paperwork.

We look forward to our first public working bee for DECP where we can invite all community members.

Down’s Estate Community Project Inc. (DECP)


Become a Member of the Biosphere

Become a member of the Biosphere Foundation and you will be supporting our goals of bringing people together to foster conservation and sustainable development.

Membership costs $25 and includes invitations to Biosphere events, the latest Biosphere news and the opportunity to network with like-minded people.

You can join by calling us on 5979 2167 or visiting our website.


Upcoming Events

World Wetlands Day, Water Birds Exhibition, Print Demonstrations & Tours
Date: Thursday 2 February, 2017
Location: Coolart Wetlands & Homestead, Lord Somers Road, Somers (Melways Ref 193 J9)
More details: Current Artist-in-Residence at Coolart Homestead and Wetlands, Timothy Growcott, will be displaying a collection of prints featuring the bird life observed on Tom Luxton Lagoon. High water levels in the lagoon this year provided great breeding conditions for many species of water birds. Timothy will be offering print demonstrations and giving personal tours of the Barracks Studio, based in the old Barracks building, which dates from 1860. Prints will be displayed in the Tack Room, originally housing the stable hands of Coolart, and recently restored by the hard-working Friends of Coolart. The display will be open daily until the end of February. More information: topendtextiles@gmail.com.

World Wetlands Day Evening Nature Walk
Date: Thursday 2 February, 2017
Time: 7.30-9.00pm
Location: Myuna Farm, 182 Kidds Road, Doveton
More details: Explore Myuna Farm wetlands. See the colony of Grey-Headed Flying Foxes take flight and identify different animals. $10 per person (under 12 free). Bookings are essential: 9706 9944

Detox Your Home in February
Date: Saturday 4 February, 2017
Time: 8.00am – 4.00pm
Location: Skye – address provided on registration
More details: Household chemicals can harm your family and pets, add fuel to house fires, release toxic fumes and pollute the environment. Detox Your Home is a free service to help you dispose of common household chemicals safely. Registration is required to manage the traffic flow and avoid queues on the day. Register at Detox Your Home Phone: 1300 363 744. For a full list of accepted items visit sustainability.vic.gov.au/detox-your-home

Compost Correctly
Date: Saturday 18 February, 2017
Time: 10.00am
Location: City of Casey Civic Centre, Magid Drive
More details: Learn how to set up and maintain a compost bin or worm farm. Includes troubleshooting tips. More information: Waste and Recycling Education Team: 9705 5200, adminwaste@casey.vic.gov.au

Ethical Supermarket Tour
Date: Thursday 23 February, 2017
Time: 10.00am
Location: City of Casey Civic Centre, Magid Drive
More details: Join us for a discussion about the impacts of what we buy and what goes on behind the label. We will then walk to a supermarket and put our knowledge into practice. Lunch and refreshments provided. More information: Waste and Recycling Education Team: 9705 5200, adminwaste@casey.vic.gov.au

Clean Up Australia Day in Frankston City
Date: Tuesday 28 February – Sunday 5 March
Location: various locations around Frankston City
More details: Participating in a local Clean Up Australia Day event is a great way to help look after your favourite park, beach or local reserve and get to know your local community. Remember, just one piece of rubbish can make a difference. So do your bit for your favourite local area – join a registered Clean Up Site or register a new site by calling 1800 CUA DAY (282 329) or by visiting MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from “secure.etools.com.au” claiming to be cleanupaustraliaday.org.au

Clean Up Australia Day – Sunday, 5 March 2017
Business Clean Up Day -Tuesday, 28 February 2017
Schools Clean Up Day – Friday, 3 March 2017
Promotion: Frankston City Council can help promote local community Clean Up sites in Frankston City if they are registered by Monday 13 February.
Register early for a free post-event rubbish collection (selected Frankston City sites only).
FOR CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA DAY ACTIVITIES & SITES IN OTHER AREAS OF THE BIOSPHERE RESERVE VISIT cleanupaustraliaday.org.au

Phillip Island Nature Parks Community Open Day
Date: Sunday 5 March, 2017
Time: 8.00am
Location: Phillip Island Nature Park
All Bass Coast Shire residents are invited to the Phillip Island Nature Parks Community Open Day where entry to our attractions is free! This includes the Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island, Antarctic Journey and evening Penguin Parade.
There will be walks, talks and fun activities with our staff and dedicated volunteers.
Be sure to bring along proof of residency to gain free entry.

Casey Green Kids Expo
Date: Saturday 18 March, 2017
Time: 9.00am – 2.00pm
Location: 20 Magid Drive, Narre Warren
More details: Learn how to reduce your young family’s impact on the environment. Discover how easy modern cloth nappies are to use, learn about the benefits of organic foods and sustainably produced toys, and explore lots of other environmentally friendly alternatives for everyday aspects of raising babies and children.
Bookings essential: visit the Casey Green events webpage to book.
More information: 9705 5200

Casey Kids Carnival
Date: Saturday 25 March, 2017
Time: 11.00am – 4.00pm
Location: Akoonah Park Reserve, 2 Cardinia Street, Berwick
More details: The Casey Kids Carnival is a free day of activities for the whole family including live performances, interactive activities, rides, market stalls, roving entertainment and face painting.
More information: Casey Kids Carnival, 9705 5200

Expressions of Interest – HMAS Cerberus Tour
Date: Monday 27 March, 2017
Time: 9.30am – 2.30pm
Location:HMAS Cerberus
More details: To keep the ongoing tradition of exploring Western Port’s attractions by onsite knowledge-sharing, the Western Port Catchment Committee has arranged a tour of HMAS Cerberus on Monday 27 March, 2017.The intention is to meet at 9.30am for a bus tour to various base attractions including the museum. Following lunch, a car convoy will explore some of the natural features towards Sandy Point before returning for exit at 2.30pm. At this stage, your expression of interest is sought to join this excursion. Attendance is not guaranteed due to potential demand plus site limits. A small fee may be charged to cover costs. Please respond by email by Tuesday 14 February 2017 to indicate your interest: ian@biosphere.org.au. Further details will be provided closer to the event.