Friends of Gulf St Vincent

The Friends' principal aim is to:
Foster a unified community approach
to the protection and wise use of
the Gulf of St Vincent

Pat Harbison's speech
at the unveiling of the Sea Eagle sculpture at Grange

5 August 2006

On behalf of the Friends, welcome and thanks for joining with us in this celebration of our beautiful Gulf St Vincent

Standing here looking over the gulf, can you imagine the scene 170 years ago, with another group of people, wading ashore in Holdfast bay. Then with the help of the crew, struggling to bring wardrobes, tables, chairs, even pianos onto the beach. Probably too concerned with protecting their baggage and themselves from the Gulf winds and waves to notice the pristine beauty of the gulf itself.

But for those 170 years, we have taken for granted all that the gulf offered in the way of sheltered anchorages, trade routes, abundant seafoods, safe swimming, clean sandy beaches and seaside homes. In return we have covered the sand dunes with buildings, plundered the fish stocks, muddied the waters and dumped our wastes,

But at last we are learning, perhaps not too late, what the gulf needs to survive,
  • that seagrasses need clear clean water

  • that fish need seagrasses for breeding, nursery and feeding areas

  • that waste water discharges cause cabbage weed to clog up the tidal creeks

  • that muddy silts from stormwater runoff will stay in the shallows and not disperse.

  • And that we may be able to repair some of the damage

Today is very special in that coastal residents, coastal councils, SALA festival organizers and FoGStV have joined together to celebrate all that the gulf provides for us, and to make a united effort to respect and regenerate our very precious Gulf St Vincent

Charles Sturt Council has commissioned this very beautiful sea eagle which Indiana James has created to celebrate our gulf, and I believe it will continue to be an inspiration to all who come to this place to look over our gulf waters.

Further, through the efforts of our local designers, the coastal community, the SALA festival organizers, and the Friends,

We have created a sea of flags.

Five coastal councils, Charles Sturt, West Torrens, Port Adelaide/Enfield, Marion and Onkaparinga, as well as 2 local members of parliament, a local resident, and the Friends, have committed to Fly the Flag for Gulf St Vincent.

I hope these flags will always be seen along the coast to remind us to respect and regenerate our beautiful Gulf St Vincent.

Ms Pat Harbison
Friends of Gulf St Vincent

5 August 2006

Last modified 2nd November 2006.