GCCA Newsletter 02 June 2010

GCCA Newsletter 02 June 2010

It has been a productive time since the last Newsletter.

There has been a flood of new members and a steady flow of new group additions to the website.  Remember that you can control your own website by adding or editing content whenever you want.  Simply contact info@goldcoastcatchments.org for a password.

The majority of the Platypus Watch surveys have been conducted, and very excitingly we have logged the 1st results of the Catchment Scorecard on the catchment map in the website.

Remember, the Association is simply an umbrella for each of your respective groups.  Our aim is to increase your effectiveness and thereby help the Gold Coast’s environment.  Feel free to send us material to put on the website or in this newsletter.

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Publicise your Group at the Green Day Out

Green Day Out

The Green Day Out will be held at Kurrawa Beach on Sunday the 13th of June.  It’s a great opportunity to meet like minded people, learn new things and taste some healthy tucker.

The Association will have a stand at the Green Day Out and we would like to invite any volunteer group who are involved in environmental work to join us on the stand.  We have room for posters and other material.  Come and spend an hour or two with us and help explain to others what you are trying to achieve with your work.

Even if you can’t stay for long – come and introduce yourself and have a chat.

Hope to See you there.

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Catchment Scorecard Update

catchment scorecard

The Gold Coast Catchment Associations Catchment Score card was officially launched in April.

The Catchment Score Card is a realistic measure of the state of the environmental health of our
catchments. It is designed to be used by the community to provide a rating that considers a whole range of factors for your section of creek or river.

During April over 30 people were trained in the Catchment Score Card. Training included finding out about the purpose of the Score Card, what indicators are scored, how these indicators are scored and choosing an appropriate site.  There are now 36 sites on eight waterways throughout the Gold Coast which will be scored on a regular basis.

And very excitingly we are already getting results in …………… check out the catchment map and click on one of the sites to see the results.  This is great stuff – a community survey that is displayed in an easy to understand format on a public website!

However… more sites need to be scored!

Thank you to all those volunteers who attended the training and scored a site during May. If you missed May then that’s OK, more training will be run in the next few months with the next scoring month being August.

Contact Janine Sigley if you are interested in being involved (it takes about 10 minutes 4 times per year!). 0400910678 or jsigley@seqcatchments.com.au

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PlatypusWatch Update

platypus watch

A campaign to raise awareness of platypus issues, including habitat requirements, threats, and the importance of reporting sightings began late last year at “platypus day” held at Fleays Wildlife Park, West Burleigh. It was a successful day with a large number of enthusiastic people learning more about the wonders of platypus and how to help protect them. Since the opening, platypus information has been circulating through web sites, emails, mail boxes, community notice boards and other mediums are planned for the future. The main messages so far have been to report sightings and to be involved in PlatypusWatch surveys. To date only 11 sightings have been received, however they been spread throughout the Gold Coast, with a number of juvenile platypus sighted in the Coomera River.

There was a fantastic response to people wanting to be involved in surveys with 35 people turning up for a training/information day in March. During last April and May, four surveys were conducted in the same areas that were done in 2006. This was to enable a comparison of the results. The surveys covered Currumbin Creek, Tallebudgera Creek, Mudgeeraba Creek, and Coomera River. There were mixed results with fewer sightings recorded in these surveys compared to the 2006 survey. Currumbin and Tallebudgera Creeks’ recorded no sightings, however at Mugeeraba Creek two were sighted and at Coomera River one was sighted.

A big thanks goes out to the many volunteers (40 in total) who took part and braved the early cold mornings. The significance of the results is unclear at this stage however the valuable information collected and continued recording of platypus sightings will help to establish a clearer picture of platypus populations and catchment health.

Check out the results of the survey on the platypus map

Contact Glenn Normand for more information on 0403901413 or
glennnormand@aapt.net.au.

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Using professional grant writers

professional grant writers

Restoring habitat and managing our catchments is expensive business.  Often we need to buy equipment or engage professional contractors to make a real difference.  But this requires money! ……………… and one of the most effective way of accessing money for environmental work is via grants.  For instance Landcare Queensland regularly highlights appropriate grants on their site.
Because most landcare and environment groups are run solely by volunteers, many are now turning to paid professionals to assist with tasks such as grant and submission writing, proposal development and even coordinating comments into government policy and community consultation processes. Clearly there are issues which need to be weighed up before you head down this path – as using consultants for any type of work can be costly if you don’t have a good idea of what it is you’re buying and how they will deliver it.

Here are a few tips to make the journey more pleasant:

  • Make sure your application is being targeted at the appropriate funding body – when we are so passionate about the environment and the work we’re doing, it’s easy to assume everyone will feel the same way. Government funding programs have very specific outcomes they need to achieve and if you don’t think your project is a perfect match, it probably isn’t. If you’re going to be paying a professional grant writer to pull together your funding submission, you need to make sure you’ve done your homework in the first place. Is the funding program a suitable match? Have you fully developed your project? Do you have all of the necessary partners on board? Do this legwork first and you’ll save yourself time and money in the long-run.
  • · Agree on either a set fee or a combination of set fee and commission– most professional grant writers opt for a set upfront fee and an additional commission if the grant is successful. Make sure you understand what the fee structure is and when you need to pay it. Most funding programs will not allow you to take a grant writers fee out of your grant, so you need to be able to pay for this out of your own funds or out of the administrative component you include in your grant budget.
  • Agree on the tasks each of you will complete – it is not possible for a grant writer to write a grant for you from start to finish without your input. Agree at the beginning what tasks you need to complete. Some of these tasks might be collecting supporting documentation (including certificates of incorporation, insurance certificates of currency, bank statements), arranging letters of support and working out the budget. Basically the grant writer will compile the grant application from the information you supply them so your application will only ever be as good as what you contribute in the first place.
  • Find a good grant writer – professional grant writers often specialise in the types of grants they prepare. Some will focus on building and infrastructure programs, some on employment and training programs, some on rural development. Try to find a grant writer that specialises in the area your project sits. You can find grant writers listed online at websites such as www.ourcommunity.com. But as with most consultants, the best way to find a good grant writer is by word of mouth.

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TREE PLANTING AND INFORMATION DAY
“Saltwater Creek Foreshore Rehabilitation”

logos

Learn about the GCCC’s Saltwater Creek Coir Log Trial, an environmentally sensitive approach to foreshore rehabilitation which seeks to enhance marine habitat whilst stabilising the foreshore.

LOCATION: Saltwater Park, Helensvale, Hope Island, Street Map 8, B15
DATE: Saturday 19th of June
TIME: 9.00-11.00am

Make sure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Bring a hat, sunscreen and don’t forget your enthusiasm!
For enquiries please call: 5581 6722.

hope island map

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