Sunset Cove in Paynesville is perfectly positioned to capture picture postcard views. Locals and visitors alike can connect with nature along a 1.5km walking track which hugs the coastline, thanks in large part to the Paynesville Landcare Coastcare Group.

In 2013, the group recognised an opportunity to transform the area, which was overrun with exposed tree roots and garden escapees such as Agapanthus, and boasted a beachfront that was disappearing under a carpet of Kikuyu.

Six years later the Sunset Cove Walking Track is used by a broad range of the community and is currently rated the 2nd most popular tourist attraction in East Gippsland on Trip Advisor.

“Walking the track is good for your soul,” says member Jane Shaw. “I think it’s the fact that you’re walking through semi-native bush; you’re right on the edge of the water and it’s well known that you can walk with the dolphins and they’ll just travel along with you. You think “my, this is pretty special”.”

“It’s a pleasure to be able to provide the community with an opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing,” says Russell Peel, president of the group. “It gets people out of their house, gets them active and it’s a social thing. Visitors to the area swell in the summertime and where you just had the locals using the track, now they bring their family down and the tourists are using it too. It’s a lovely area to walk along, to befriend people and make new friends.”

“It’s a very tangible connection to nature as you’re taking the dog for a walk in the morning,” Jane adds.

The East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority is offering community members an opportunity to explore the Corringle Foreshore Reserve.

The EGCMA, in partnership with the GunaiKurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) and Parks Victoria, will host a free cultural walk, talk and paddle tour at 10.30am on Thursday 30th May.

Participants will have an opportunity to walk through the Foreshore Reserve and adjoining coastline, learn about the significance of Corringle to the Gunaikurnai people and hear from GLaWAC and Parks Victoria about their joint management arrangements.

Taking to the water, participants will paddle toward the mouth of the Snowy River Estuary to learn about the importance that environmental water flows play to the health of the river system, the surrounding biodiversity and the people who enjoy it.

Lunch and all equipment will be supplied and guests will paddle with the support and guidance of qualified and experienced recreational instructors.

The excursion is suitable for people with no prior paddling experience, but participants need to be reasonably fit and agile to enter the canoes or rafts and complete a 2km walk. It’s open to everyone over the age of twelve, and those under 18 must be accompanied by a supervising adult.

Participants will be required to bring clothing and any personal supplies, and be prepared to get a little wet.

If you would like to join in the fun,  please register here from Wednesday 15th May.  Numbers will be limited so early booking is advisable.

Please note that this paddle is subject to weather conditions and river flows.

Raymond Island is well known as a relaxing holiday destination with the promise of easy koala spotting and a leisurely lifestyle. Working to improve the bush outlook that visitors travel hundreds of kilometres to enjoy, is a year-round job for the Raymond Island Landcare Group.

For over a decade the group has been systematically improving the health of the island, home to an abundance of wildlife and migratory birds, one plot at a time.

Pam Williams-Wright, the president of the group notes how popular the island has become, “Melbourne is just so busy now that people are looking for somewhere else to retire to and we’re finding that people are moving up having visited the region only a handful of times.”  It’s this regeneration of people and enthusiasm and seeing the transformation in real time that keeps the group inspired to continue making a change.

With funding from Victorian Landcare Grants, the group have been working on eight separate sites for over 20 years.

Rob Wright has helped to regenerate 30 acres of bushland since he first moved to the island five years ago. “It’s not complicated” he says, “It’s going to take many years to see the benefits of our hard work but it’s not hard to see what’s already popping up. We’ve got to give back and get it back to something like what it was.“

“Our works have made a huge difference already, especially in the community. People are getting enthusiastic about it, they can see the effects of what we’re doing and that makes a huge difference.”

The Victorian Landcare Grants have recently opened for 2019-20 with grants of up to $20,000 available. If you are a member of a Landcare group or an environmental community group with a great idea for a project on your patch then you should consider applying.

Applications close on 12th June.

Wetlands are more than just swamps, they serve an important ecological function and are important places for Traditional Owners.

That was the takeaway at the recent Wonders of the Wetlands tour, led by the EGCMA in conjunction with Greening Australia and the Lower Tambo Landcare Group.

Attendees had the opportunity to travel to sites along the lower Tambo to see the progress of works being undertaken by Greening Australia. They learned about the environmental and cultural importance of the Twin Rivers, while Birdlife Australia’s Deb Sullivan discussed the migratory birds who visit the Gippsland Lakes each year.

The EGCMA would like to thank the community members, landholders and partner organisations who helped make this day such a success.

Project sites visited have been funded by the Victorian State Government as part of $222 million committed to improving the health of waterways and catchments in Victoria.

The lower Snowy River work is continuing this year with an ongoing partnership between the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (EGCMA) and Moogji Aboriginal Council.

The Moogji works crew have been working on the river for over a decade and look after the area from Jarrahmond to the Brodribb. The crew controls weeds and plants native seedlings to improve the health of the Snowy.

“Moogji are a terrific partner providing opportunities for local people to develop a career path and further employment opportunities while improving the health of the river.” said EGCMA CEO, Graeme Dear.

This aligns with the objectives of the Water Plan for Victoria which seeks greater involvement of indigenous people in waterway management.

With Mallacoota abuzz throughout the Wild Harvest Seafood Festival over the weekend, some lucky participants were able to enjoy the celebrations, and the idyllic location, from the water.

Over 50 festival go-ers joined the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and Parks Victora aboard the M.V. Loch-Ard for a tour of the bottom lake.

Taking in Swimming Point, the Narrows and a surprise visit from a couple of playful dolphins, guests learnt about the estuary’s ecology and cultural significance while soaking in its stunning beauty and wildlife.

Community members from near and far descended on Lindenow South to celebrate turtles!

Did you know that many of Australia’s freshwater turtles are under serious threat due to fox predation and human activities?

Greening Australia and Turtles Australia know just how important these critters are to our wetlands and waterways and were keen to share their knowledge, particularly how to identify Eastern long neck turtles and use nest protection kits. With the Local Aboriginal Woman dancers, the Brabulung Warriors and the team from Bug Blitz on hand, a good day was had by all.

This event was funded by the State Governments Our Catchment, Our Communities initiative.

The East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (EGCMA) advises that the entrance at Mallacoota Inlet estuary was opened on 21st March.

Good rainfall over the catchment at the beginning of last week meant that conditions were favourable for Parks Victoria to artificially open the entrance with lake levels now beginning to drop.

EGCMA CEO Graeme Dear said  “We will continue to monitor water levels and stream flows into the estuary and provide further advice if the entrance closes again”.

“We would also like to thank those in the community who have assisted with data gathering in recent months” Mr Dear said.

The Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) NRM  Crew have been working along the banks of the Tambo River, controlling weeds between Battens Landing and Stephenson Bridge.

Working in partnership with the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (EGCMA), the works will improve public recreational access to the well-known swimming spots and complement revegetation works being undertaken in the area.

These works are part of a coordinated effort to improve the health of the Tambo River, together with public access and amenity from Swifts Creek downstream to the mouth of the river.

“Our NRM team are proud to be working on country in partnership with EGCMA” said Nigel Pearce, NRM Manager at GLaWAC.

“The Water Plan for Victoria seeks greater involvement of Traditional Owners and recreational users in the management of our rivers.” said the EGCMA CEO, Graeme Dear. “Our strong relationship with GLaWAC provides opportunities to build and share skills and cultural knowledge.”

The project is funded by the Victorian State Government as part of $222 million committed to improving the health of waterways and catchments in Victoria.

Minister for Water Lisa Neville is inviting applications to fill 115 director positions on Victoria’s water boards.

Water corporations provide a range of services to customers comprising water supply, sewage and trade waste disposal and treatment, water delivery for irrigation and domestic and stock purposes, drainage, and salinity mitigation services.

Catchment management authorities are responsible for the integrated planning and coordination of land, water and biodiversity management in each catchment and land protection regions.

Board directors come from all walks of life, including farmers, small business owners, project managers and other professionals.

The Victorian Government is committed to increasing diversity in water sector leadership, and applications are encouraged from Aboriginal people, Traditional Owners, people with disabilities, young people and people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Promoting diverse participation on Boards brings diversity in skills and perspectives and strengthens the Victorian economy and the broader community. Victoria strives to have public sector Boards that are highly effective and reflective of our diverse community.

The Victorian Government has invested $584 million to deliver water initiatives as a part of the state’s water plan, Water for Victoria, including a record $222 million investment for waterway health.

Expressions of interests for the water corporation and catchment management positions close on 1 April 2019.

More information on board vacancies and the expression of interest process is available at Get On Board .

We acknowledge the traditional owners of country throughout East Gippsland and pay our respects to them, their culture and their Elders past, present and future.