Why Protect Beach Scrubs?
With less than 30% of their original extent remaining, vine forests on coastal sands, or beach scrubs, are an endangered ecological community. Beach scrubs come under the category of ‘Littoral Rainforest and Coastal Vine Thickets of Eastern Australia’, which are listed as critically endangered by the Australian Government.
Beach scrubs are immensely valuable, particularly for their provision of habitat to threatened species such as the northern quoll, beach stone-curlew and coastal sheathtail bat. They also have significant cultural value to Aboriginal communities and provide protection to the coastline from erosion.
Beach scrubs on the Capricorn coast are one of twelve priority sites identified by the Bringing Back the Beach Scrub project, a cross-regional project aiming to improve the protection and condition of beach scrub in areas between Townsville and Rockhampton.
Funded by the Australian Government , in the Rockhampton region, the project is being delivered by the Fitzroy Basin Association Inc and the Queensland Government, who support grassroots groups like Bushcare to carry out on-ground works.
On Ground Work
The Emu Park Community Bushcare Group has worked to help protect and restore a nine hectare patch of beach scrub on Council Reserve land at Fisherman’s Beach in Emu Park.
The group worked with the former Livingstone Shire Council (now Rockhampton Regional Council) to erect fencing to protect the beach scrub, provide a boundary between forest areas and the nearby caravan park, and create designated beach access routes for the public.
To help restore the beach scrub, the group has regularly undertaken weed control and revegetation activities at the site. The group also organised a Beach Scrub Community Day which attracted around 30 people who collectively cleaned up more than 2000m2 of scrub, including weeding and mulching. The group removed weeds including Guinea grass, Brazilian cherry, Mother of Millions, Lantana, and Coral Bush.