Coolum District Coast Care had to work significantly faster than the pace of a turtle to save all the little critters in the midst of the ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald onslaught along the Coolum and North Shore coastline over the weekend.
Division 8 Councillor Jason OPray said the local environmental group were able to successfully save 10 turtle nests with around 1,000 eggs altogether.
“I want to recognise and thank Coolum District Coast Care for the incredible, hard work they undertook over the weekend to relocate all the turtle nests, with only one nest lost,” he said.
“It was a great privilege for me to have Sherida Holford, Ben Pearce and Stephanie Phillips from the group show me where one of the nests containing 168 little guys had been and where it was safety relocated to up higher in the dunes at Marcoola.”
Coolum District Coast Care is a non-profit environmental group that works tirelessly to protect and regenerate the bush and dunes, protect animals and marine life and undertake various pollution mitigations up and down the Coolum and North Shore coastline and beyond.
Coolum District Coast Care’s Sherida Holford said the group do not move or disturb the turtle nests unless it is essential.
“We had been closely observing the nests for several days before making the decision it was absolutely necessary to relocate them or we would lose them. We relocated all of the nests from 5.30am on Monday during the height of the storm,” she said.
“It is for situations like this, why it is imperative that Coolum District Coast Care or Caloundra Turtle Care, along the southern end, need to know where the turtle nests are or we can’t help save them, nor can we prevent predation from foxes and wild dogs.
“Beach walkers and visitors can all help by keeping an eye out for tracks during the turtle nesting season between November and February and letting us know. Each track is nearly a metre wide and will run from the water up to the dune.
“We will go and find the body pit, protect the nest from wild animals by meshing the site, and continue to monitor the nest throughout the season.”
Cr OPray said he is committed to supporting and raising awareness about the wonderful work Coolum District Coast Care provides for our region.
“I strongly encourage our local school groups, community groups, families and individuals to get involved with Coolum District Coast Care or similar minded groups such as Caloundra Turtle Care if you live further south,” he said.
“There are always opportunities for volunteers with Coolum District Coast Care. They are a really energetic bunch and a lot of fun to be around. The kids will have a great time too.
“You can also become a member of the group for a mere $5 a year. Why not join up and to find out how you can help, head along to one of their regular meetings held at the Yaroomba Nursery.”
To find out more about this terrific group of locals determined to protect our coastal environment visit www.coolumcoastcare.org.au