Coastal Discovery Van set to roll out across the Coast
As part of the launch of Sunshine Coast Council’s newest education tool, the Coastal Discovery Van, and a Year 9 Coastal Marine Studies program, Caloundra State High School sent 13 students to explore the van and clean up rubbish from the beach. Sunshine Coast Council’s regional area consists of about 60 kilometres of shoreline, including 43 kilometres of beautiful open beaches and seven kilometres of rocky shores. This coastline is managed by council, but also susceptible to littered rubbish. The students worked together to pick up and sort 1.6kg of rubbish from a small section of Moffat Beach. Sunshine Coast Council Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council also looked after lower estuary foreshores, coastal pathways, 248 beach access points as well as the associated vegetation in these coastal foreshore areas. “Needless to say, council’s coastal team has a lot of ground – and water – to cover,” Cr McKay said. “Their work spans from beach nourishment, dunal revegetation, marine sampling, waterways health monitoring, marine animal strandings, turtle nest management, and, of course beach clean-ups.” All projects, research and efforts are done to protect and maintain the region’s precious natural and built assets, such as rivers, lakes and beaches, as well as community buildings, homes and roads. These assets also all hold important historical, tourism, and personal value to the community. To share this work and knowledge with the community, council needed a mobile tool that could engage and educate residents and tourists alike. And so the Coastal Discovery Van was born. Or should we say, reborn… Once a lunch room, then updated to the ‘Work Safe. Live Well’ safety messaging van, this upcycled caravan has been retrofitted with interpretive displays about coastal wildlife, ecology and impacts to the Sunshine Coast. The Coastal Discovery Van will move around the region celebrating the coastal environment promoting council’s environmental partnerships and citizen science programs. Wherever the van goes, residents and visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the wonder of our beaches and waterways. Community engagement with council’s coastal projects is key to the success of the protection of our valued assets. This van is an open space for discussion and knowledge sharing. The Coastal Discovery Van is coming to a coastal location near you soon, so keep an eye on council’s website and social media channels for details on upcoming events and locations.