All hands on deck to protect Eagle Point

More than 100 students from Eagle Point Primary School got their hands dirty helping to protect Eagle Point Reserve over the past week. The students planted native species as part of a Gippsland Lakes restoration project.

Tom Crook, Gippsland Plains Conservation Management Network (GPCMN) programs manager, said the 40-hectare site adjoining the silt jetties faces several threats, which the project aims to address.

“There was significant erosion on the western side of the bluff which has been fixed with earthworks and will now be revegetated with help from the Eagle Point Primary students Tom said.

The GPCMN is leading the project, funded by the Victorian State Government through the second round of the Gippsland Lakes Community Grants funding.

“Eagle Point Primary is directly opposite the site,” continued Tom. “These kids have all grown up around here and have a connection with the Gippsland Lakes, so it’s important to involve them in helping us protect the broader Lakes environment. We’re reinforcing the message that what happens on the land plays an important role in the health of the Lakes system.

“The works crew from the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) have been involved in this project from the start and will plant the remaining 4,500 plants across this site next week,” Tom said.

This revegetation will stabilise the earthworks, increase plant species diversity and importantly reintroduce several traditional bush food plants to the site, including the extremely rare ‘yam daisy’, which has unfortunately become locally extinct.

The project has included fencing to restrict vehicle access to sensitive sites, improved drainage works to manage erosion, rabbit management and planting 5,000 native plants.

Tom explained that environmentally, Eagle Point Reserve is extremely important.

“It has a lot of big, old hollow bearing trees which provide important habitat for a range of animals such as sugar gliders and other possums.

“We know that Powerful Owls come here to feed. There aren’t many sites like this around the Gippsland Lakes, making it quite unique and important to protect.

“There are also a pair of Peregrine Falcons that call it home and breed in the Bluff itself.

“Eagle Point Reserve is a special place and this project is helping to protect and manage a range of environmental and cultural heritage values, so they can be enjoyed by the community into the future,” Tom concluded.

As part of the project, there will be interpretive signage installed to help educate people about the environmental and cultural significance of the site.

This project is being completed in partnership with the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, East Gippsland Shire Council, GPCMN, Eagle Point Landcare Group and the Eagle Point Primary School

This project is funded by the Victorian State Government for the health of the Gippsland Lakes.

For further information call Tom Crook on 0417 557 114