World Wetlands Day 2000: Australia
World Wetland Day in Victoria, Australia
Here are some details on activities held during a week of wetland celebrations leading up to World Wetlands Day 2000 (better late, than never!).
Activities were held around Geelong (Victoria, Australia), to focus attention on the Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsular Ramsar Site. The activities are part of the Community Awareness for Geelong Ramsar Wetlands Project, funded by the National Wetlands Program (Environment Australia) and supported by the City of Greater Geelong.
Breakfast Bike Ride and Walk at Limeburners Bay (26 January, Australia Day)
Limeburners Bay is part of this area's internationally important wetland site. The Bay offers great opportunities for passive recreation and is a popular fishing spot. A shared trail along the western shoreline is regularly used by cyclists and walkers and a boardwalk allows visitors close views of the saltmarsh and mangroves, without causing damage to the fragile plants.
The breakfast was attended by nearly 30 people from all walks of life, some in prams, some on bikes, some on foot. After a quick introduction to the Bay, participants went on a walk with local naturalist, Mark Trengove, for a detailed insight into the Bay. Meanwhile, the Geelong Womens Apex Club, prepared a breakfast of eggs, sausages, fruit and juice. A display in the nearby rotunda provided further wetland information.
Photo left: Breakfast participants about to head off on a guided walk of Limeburners Bay, led by Mark Trengove, Geelong Indigenous Nursery (right).
Explore Swan Bay (28 January)
Renowned local naturalist Sue Longmore, led a guided afternoon walk along the southern shores of Swan Bay. Swan Bay is recognised internationally for the large numbers of migratory birds that visit during summer and the vital habitat it provides for the endangered Orange-bellied Parrot. 10 people participated and learnt about the wildlife that abounds in the Bay and the catchment that surrounds it.
Feathers, Furs and Fins (30 January)
The Geelong Regional Library Corporation organised sessions with Museum Victoria to encourage library visitors to learn about wildlife. Both sessions were well attended, and the response from participants was enthusiastic.
Serendip Sanctuary (31 January and 2 February)
This wetland sanctuary managed by Parks Victoria, provides an opportunity to learn about and get close to wetlands and the wildlife that inhabits them, with a series of bird hides and nature trails. The Sanctuary offered a 20% discount on entry on both days.
Wetlands Art Competition Launch (2 February)
Wetlands Art is a competition for secondary school students in the Geelong region. The competition follows on from a similar, highly successful, competition run for primary school students in 1999 (which had nearly 900 participants and over 500 entries). Prizes in the competition are sponsored by one of Geelong's oldest and largest industries, Cheetham Salt Limited. The competition was launched by federal member of parliament, Mr Stewart McArthur MHR, and attended by other local politicians, senior council officers and representatives from state government departments, other local governments, community groups and local schools. The competition runs between World Wetlands Day and World Environment Day. All entries in the competition will be exhibited at the Geelong Environment Expo, 2-3 and 5-6 June.
Photo: Mr Stewart McArthur MHR, Federal Member for Corangamite (right) and Mr Mark Shelley, Victorian Operations Manager, Cheetham Salt Limited (left) at the launch of Wetlands Art.
Displays of wetland posters, brochures, maps and other information were set up at local shopping centres and libraries.
Signs were set-up on the sides of five major roads leading into Geelong, publicising World Wetlands Day, and with the words "Internationally important, fascinating to visit, vital to life and business. Celebrate Geelong's Wetlands".
As a follow-up to World Wetlands Day, a full-page colour newspaper article was printed in The Geelong Advertiser, on 22 February, as part of their Newspapers in Education program. This contained general information on wetlands, an introduction to the Ramsar Convention, details of the wildlife of Geelong's Ramsar-listed wetlands, the pressures on them and a map showing their location, and sources of further information, such as the Ramsar Bureau website.
For further information on any activity, please contact Liz Gould, Wetlands Project Officer, City of Greater Geelong at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wetlands Project Officer
Community Awareness for Geelong Ramsar Wetlands Project
City of Greater Geelong
PO Box 104, Geelong Vic 3220
Ph: (03) 5227 0334; Fax: (03) 5227 0737