Respect, Responsibilities, Rights

Share Our Shores

The Barwon Coast Committee of Management and the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee have joined forces with a simple message for visitors of the coast this summer.

From Ocean Grove on the Bellarine Peninsula to Cumberland River on the Surf Coast, we are asking beachgoers to ‘Share our Shores’.

The Share our Shores campaign focuses on all aspects of equitable use by all types of beach users.

First launched by the Barwon Coast Committee of Management in November 2017, Share our Shores promotes the respect, responsibilities and rights that are important in minimising conflict between different beach users.

Barwon Coast CEO Gary McPike said: “We look after an extremely popular section of the Victorian coastline and need to encourage everyone to help us balance the huge visitor numbers with coastal protection.”

Great Ocean Road Coast CEO Vanessa Schernickau said that Share our Shores is a great opportunity for coastal land managers to work together in promoting respectful use of our natural resources.

“It’s great to be working alongside our friends at Barwon Coast in spreading the Share our Shores message to respect the coast and respect other beachgoers,” said Ms Schernickau.

Summer is a busy time up and down the coast, adding increased pressure on our natural environment. We all love the beach – let’s make sure we can all enjoy it for generations to come.

How you can help

Fishing line and inappropriately discarded fishing equipment is harmful debris which can entangle our precious marine wildlife.

Wildlife caught in this marine debris may be affected by restricted mobility, starvation, infection, amputation, drowning or smothering.

This affects several endangered marine species and prompted Zoos Victoria to install ‘Seal the Loop’ bins at popular fishing locations. These bins are designed to make it easy for angles to ensure their waster never harms wildlife.

It’s always hard to find a park along the coast in summer, especially when the weather is good and the surf is up!

Please be mindful that parking in non-designated parks can cause significant damage the native vegetation and can also cause you to end up with a parking fine!

Make sure you do the right thing and stick to designated car parks, tracks and lookouts to limit your impact on the landscape.

Our coastal towns aim to be ‘glass free’ throughout the year. Please give some thought to the proper disposal of the containers your drinks are in, and make glass-free purchases where possible.

If possible, bring your own reusable drink bottle to help cut down on rubbish and plastic on our coast.

The Great Ocean Road coastline is blessed with kilometers of walking tracks in the towns and along the coast. Tracks allow everyone to enjoy the coastal environment with minimum disturbance to our flora and fauna.

Always wear a hat and sturdy shoes, carry some drinking water, and don’t forget the sunscreen and insect repellent. Some tracks are ‘shared trails’, making them suitable for bike riding and wheelchair access as well as pedestrians.

To help prevent premature erosion of our dunes and vegetation, please ensure you stay on designated footpaths and lookouts on your next visit to the coast.

Dogs on beaches are only allowed at certain times and in certain locations. Please read the signs carefully. And remember to collect your dog’s poo! Surf Coast Shire has passed a law requiring all dog owners to carry plastic bags to collect their dog’s poo when walking in public.

Make sure you check out the Surf Coast Shire website for current dog friendly beaches and regulations.

We often encounter illegal fires in the dunes or clifftop areas which can quickly get out of hand and spread, causing major bush fires.

Please help be our eyes and ears on the coast and report any suspicious behaviour to authorities on 000.

Please don’t litter – take your rubbish home, or use one of the garbage bins provided.

Join in on the ‘Take 3 for the Sea’ campaign and take your rubbish, and three additional items of litter from the beach to properly dispose in bins provided to help protect our precious marine wildlife.

Rubbish is a major issue for all coastal managers and you can help reduce your impact by swapping single-use plastics for sustainable, reusable products.

Cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded item of rubbish worldwide and threaten our precious marine wildlife.

Animals often mistake the cigarette butts for food floating on the surface of the water and die from ingesting them.

With an estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts (worldwide) littered every year, make sure you do your bit and ‘bin your butt’.

The coastal dunes have incredibly fragile ecosystems which form an important habitat for much of our native wildlife. Whilst it may seem like fun, playing in the sand dunes not only destroys these areas, but can also be dangerous to your safety.

It is illegal for people or dogs to enter the dunes, even if there are no fences. Running and jumping in the dunes cases serious damage to the vegetation which holds the dunes together, wreaking havoc on habitat for native animals and causing other serious environmental issues such as flooding.

Environmental volunteers are the backbone of the Great Ocean Road Coast and support essential conservation works along the coast. You can help the protect and preserve the natural coastal environment by volunteering your time with our fantastic conservation team.

Alternatively, you could join one of the many active volunteer groups along the coast and become the next coastal protector!

For all the information, head to our volunteers page.

Sharing our Shores