SANE Meeting Wednesday 14/9/11 at Patagonia 5.30pm

Present: Cara, Tess, Andrew, Chris, Kester, Graeme, Charles.
Apologies: Gordon, Kev.

Our meeting was held at Patagonia on the Surfcoast Highway, Torquay.  Cara, the store manager from Patagonia, said staff are keen to assist SANE with their efforts in conservation activities. This included things like working bees and membership promotion.. After discussing the idea over the last couple of weeks it was decided that rather than expand our terrestrial works program, it might be valuable to explore a ‘marine’ subgroup in SANE. Consequently it was decided to invite Andrew Gray, the Coast Care co-ordinator for this region to present at the SANE committee meeting. The following Minutes are a record of that meeting:


Andrew Gray from Coast Care Anglesea Depot said there are 3 or 4 community groups are interested in monitoring Marine Parks. Eg. A new friends group has been established for Eagle Rock where the geomorphology is special but the understanding of its biology is still not well known.

Point Addis covers some 3000ha.
Parks Victoria have recently done an audit of where Marine park $s have gone.  It’s believed $s could be better spent with funds allocated toward monitoring species, geology and eco systems; also identifying the best assets of the parks. Importantly, CoastCare Vic groups could contribute to scientific knowledge. PARKs VIC will do an audit to work out what holes they have in their knowledge and what groups could do to assist in filling those gaps.

Pt Addis, Pt Danger and Eagle Rock come under the same PARKS VIC Management Plan.  If report cards show these areas drop out of the benchmarks then Coast Care and Parks Vic will have work to improve outcomes.

Friends Groups have an opportunity to apply for Caring for Country grants and monitoring training sessions through Reef Watch will be available.  Members can learn how and what to identify. There are multiple levels of monitoring which combines:
1. rock pool surveys (Intertidal),
2. snorkelling (usually close to shore)
3.  scuba diving and reef life surveys (including outer reefs and transect lines).

Two of the elusive life forms we’ll be on the lookout for at Point Addis are the Leafy Sea Dragon and the Blue Grouper. Also, Wobbegongs and Port Jackson Sharks. All these lifeforms are not well documented or understood within this Reserve. There are bound to be many more.

In addition, there are the marine threats that groups such as ours can play a part in highlighting. Specifically:
• Poaching
• Marine debris
• Sustainable fishing
• Climate Change

If groups are set up properly so that information gathering is standardised, there is an opportunity for groups to explore other groups’ marine areas also.

The grant opportunities for SANE could be based on community engagement, education and possibly support our Surfworld Project that Mark and Graeme have been working on.  Andrew suggested SANE approach Parks Vic Frank Gleeson and Emma Danby for grant application of between $2,000 and $20,000. This would cover basic training and getting knowledge and I.D. skills up to speed.

Insurance: Is covered under PARKS VIC providing the participants have completed the recommended training and OH & S guidelines. Also, at present this means a Ranger has to be there (at least until the team is competent). This may take time.

Andrew has offered to take SANE members snorkelling and as such insurance would be covered by Parks Vic .

The Parks Vic and Reef Life Survey web sites are worth a look. Also, Nicole Maher (Eagle Rock Res.) and Luke Hynes in his work to remove Undaria (invasive Japanese seaweed that arrived through contaminated ballast water) from Apollo Bay could be helpful. For Reef Watch, Wendy Roberts could be a good contact, and for Sea Search Jacky Polkington.
Thanks to Andrew for coming along to our meeting and providing such a valuable insight into Marine Parks.

Other Business:
Graeme recommended we donate $100 to the Carbon Neutral ‘Say Yes to Carbon Tax’.  Approved by the Committee.

Mark Trinham has requested SANE donate $500 toward production of the SCIPN Wildlife Study cards and the Committee supported this. 

Graeme gave SANE members an update on the SANE Surfworld Project.  He has a project plan in mind and is currently sourcing funds to produce the display.  It will help educate our surfing community and Surfworld visitors about how significant and yet how fragile our natural world is and how we can minimise our footprint. The display will include:
1. Terrestrial Display:
A diorama of Bells Beach.
A celebration of the lifeforms that live and pass through Bells Beach.
Importantly, how do we respond to the threats?
An emphasis on our motto, ‘don’t destroy what you came to enjoy’ which shows what longterm stewardship can achieve.
It may be a cliché but ‘Only leave a footprint on the beach’. cf. cigarette butts and the impact of plastic bags, trampling vegetation, litter, people pressure.
A Touchscreen to provide information about flora and fauna seen within the Reserve. If possible will include audio and footage as well as text on various taxa.

2. Marine Display:
Underwater diorama with portals to give insight into life under the waves.
DVD wall showing marine life in action.
Sculpture featuring Giant Kelp (Macrocystis species); this seaweed species is a keystone species but highly susceptible to climate change. Small DVD screens built into the sculpture showing marine activity. Eg. penguin hunting fish or Humpback Whale migrating along the coast, etc.
Touchscreens as above for terrestrial display.

A special thanks to Cara and Tess from Patagonia for the use of the shop for our meeting and the lovely food.  Committee members feel this could be a really good place to hold future meetings and we hope it will encourage new members with an opportunity to voice their ideas and participate in SANE projects.

Meeting Closed 7.30pm