Coast Guardians is the Great Ocean Road Coast’s flagship environmental education program, tailored towards year 9 students protecting the coast. It is an ongoing program though which schools participate throughout the year on one particular site to help foster ownership and enhance their understanding of the location.
Schools currently participating in the program and the coastal sites undergoing rehabilitation are:
Geelong Lutheran College: Whites Gap and Fishermans Beach Torquay.
Lorne Aireys Inlet P-12: Erskine River Top Bank, North Lorne Beach and Lorne Point, Lorne.
Northern Bay P-12 College: Point Impossible and Whites Beach, Torquay.
Surf Coast Secondary College: Spring Creek, Torquay.
Year 9 Students
This program aims to increase environmental awareness and examine coastal issues whilst promoting and encouraging social responsibility and environmental stewardship. This program explores major coastal issues and opportunities in greater depth and includes:
- Ecosystems and coastal processes on the coast
- Plant identification
- Indigenous and cultural heritage of sites and plants and animal uses
- Natural threats to the environment
- Climate variations
- Human impacts on the coastal environment
- Threatened flora and fauna species and the importance of diverse biodiversity
- Coastal management issues and solutions
- Local land manager’s roles
Other features of the Coast Guardians Program include:
- Student Forum/ Conference at the end of the year with all Coast Guardians Schools
- Special guest speakers from local coastal community – volunteers, local heroes, experts
- Possible participation in special events such as World Environment Day, CCMA Creek Connections Day
- BBQ’s and healthy snacks
- Wet weather program at school
- Visit another site on the coast
- Walks and talks
- Real life problem solving
- Relate to Year 9 and other curriculum: Science, Geography, History, Maths, English, HPE, Personal Learning
- Use of scientific equipment
Highly trained and skilled staff conduct these activities and help promote the importance of environmental stewardship and taking ownership of the coastal environment.
The Great Ocean Road Coast tries to make the education programs easy for groups and provides all the relevant tools, equipment and personal protective gear, including hi-vis vests and gloves. Students and staff are required to provide their own transport to and from the site and bring along any food and beverages for the day.