Thirst quenched for Cervantes coastline

The Cervantes coastline is looking a whole lot greener, thanks to 14 local “coast-carers” who recently helped plant about 400 local native seedlings and additional cuttings from local coastal species at Thirsty Point.

The revegetation effort aims to benefit the coastal dune system by rehabilitating and stabilising the dunes, and better defining access track to the beach to limit trampling of the fragile coastal vegetation.

What a difference it has already made!

Thirsty Point and its adjecent coastline is a significant and strikingly beautiful place that is valued by locals and visitors alike, being one of the first coastal stops for north-bound tourists.

The point is an exposed site in a dynamic coastal system, constantly altering in response to changing wind, wave, tide and current conditions. In addition to regular seasonal changes, early 2013 storm surges caused considerable erosion to the coastline and damage to infrastructure at Thirsty Point.

Volunteers from NACC and the Cervantes Ratepayers, Progress Association and Coastcare Group plant seedlings along the Thirsty Point beach entrance path.
Volunteers from NACC and the Cervantes Ratepayers, Progress Association and Coastcare Group plant seedlings along the Thirsty Point beach entrance path.

Since that time, both the Shire and community have made positive changes to the area by removing infrastructure threatened by coastal erosion; defining access for foot and vehicle traffic; providing a safe and enjoyable place for people to visit; and providing some soft coastal rehabilitation measures to minimise impacts and slow erosion issues as much as possible.

One important technique used by community volunteers with support from the Shire is to undertake a restoration technique called “brushing” – which entails laying native brush over exposed areas to act as a ‘sand-catcher’, reducing erosion, retaining some moisture in the dunes and defining tracks for visitors. This rehabilitation technique in turn supports natural regeneration of local species.

The revegetation utilised a range of local coastal species seedlings provided by a native plant nursery. The plants were funded through NACC’s Coastal and Marine Program.

A photo monitoring point was also set up to monitor changes at the site on an annual basis, which will show natural rehabilitation and growth of the planted local species, and any other changes to the coastal foreshore system.

All participants agreed that it was a great event and a strong turnout from the local community, and said they were looking forward to more similar activities in the future with the Ratepayers, Progress Association and Coastcare Group.

The project was coordinated by the Cervantes Ratepayers and Coastcare Group and supported by the Shire of Dandaragan. Special thanks were extended to Kevin from the Shire’s Operations Team, for putting in posts to define the track and painting the picnic table.

This project is supported by NACC’s Coastal and Marine Program, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

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