There are new faces - Sharn Lucas, the Our Patch officer has departed (we wish her well with her new job in the South-East) - her place has been taken by Caroline Wilson, with whom we look forward to extending our cooperation.
At Reedbeds, Marion Gray has taken a back seat, and opened the way for a new coordinator, Lee Prestwood, to come on board.
With this new flush of enthusiasm, there is the opportunity to reinvigorate the projects that we already have underway.
In particular, the Environment Resource Centre has a project that has the potential to involve a number people in an exciting community project.
We are interested in hearing from people who have a long connection with this area, and photos or memories of what it used to be like before the airport was built.
The upgrade of the drainage channel along Sir Donald Bradman Drive (downstream of May Tce) is about to commence. While runoff from the Airport's internal drainage system will continue along the eastern side of Tapleys Hill Road, stormwater from the West Torrens catchment will be diverted in an upgraded culvert under Tapleys Hill Road, expected to be completed by the end of June.
The remainder of the earthworks, including a graded channel (with a levee to protect housing to the west) crossing the horse paddock to West Beach Road, is expected to be finished by early next year.
These works are designed to cope with a 1:100 year ARI storm event. The West Beach Road culvert will also be upgraded, possibly including a ford to cope with extreme rainfall events. Peri Coleman has been involved in the design of these drainage works, to ensure that there will be no adverse effects on the Pat Creek area. The Catchment Board has engaged consultants Australian Water Environments and Hydro Tasmania to carry out further studies of the area.
There is still no news about removal of the silt ponds.
Researchers from the Botanic Gardens have collected seed from Pat Creek, especially from Maireana species, to use in studies at their Hackney Road laboratories, of the long-term storage of native plant seed.
Last year, with the able assistance of Dr Jan Carey of the Dept of Geographical & Environmental Studies at the University of Adelaide, we put in a grant application for a project under the Commonwealth's Dept of Environment & Heritage's Telling Australia's Stories program.
This ambitious project, Caring for our Creeks - the Stories of the Friends of Patawalonga Creek & the Reedbeds Community Centre, will aim to gather oral histories and other material to build up a picture of historical and environmental change of the area. The outcome of the project will be a CD-ROM that can be distributed to schools, libraries and historical groups.
We expect to learn the result of our application shortly. But even if we are unsuccessful in this first round, the program runs for another two years, giving us the opportunity to further refine our application and re-apply.
At last September's Curry Night, speaker Professor Martin Williams gave an excellent and provocative talk on Climate Change: Lessons from the Flinders Ranges, which was very well-received.
At the next Curry Night on Friday, April 1, Dr Hugh Kirkman will speak on 'Seagrasses and their environmental importance, with particular emphasis on Gulf St Vincent'.
Dr Kirkman has worked for 27 years on seagrasses with CSIRO Division of Fisheries in Qld, NSW and WA; he has also worked in France, Germany, the USA, and Jordan. In the late 90s he mapped all the underwater features of southern Australia from Exmouth Gulf to the NSW border. For five years, he was in Thailand as the United Nations Environment Programme's director of the East Asian Seas Regional Coordinating Unit.
While dates for the Curry Nights later this year have not been finalised, guest speakers have been contacted.
Mid-year, Dr Rob Fitzpatrick of the CSIRO will speak on the severe environmental issue of Acid Sulfate Soils; in the Spring, Chris Wright of the Bureau of Meteorology will discuss Flooding Issues in the Western Suburbs.
With the support of the State Government's Department for Environment & Heritage, FoGStV is organising a Community Forum to be held at Port Vincent on Saturday, April 9, from 9.30am - 4.30pm.
Entitled 'Get to know your Gulf!', the Forum will feature expert speakers on the History of our Gulf, Shipwrecks, the Gulf's Ecology, and Planning for the Gulf's future.
Details of the Forum and a flyer with registration details can be downloaded from our website (along with the latest issue of Blue Swimmer, FoGStV's newsletter, in PDF format):
The Forum will be held at the Port Vincent Institute and lunch will be provided. Please note that for catering purposes registration is essential.
In recent months FoGStV members have taken part in the Sharing the Samphire Coast Community Forum at Port Wakefield, and a Community Coastal & Marine Workshop at Normanville. Both these events were very well-attended, demonstrating the extent of local interest in coastal and marine issues.
A FoGStV sub-committee is preparing a handbook entitled The Natural History of Gulf St Vincent, to be published by the Royal Society of SA in 2006. With 31 chapters and 39 contributors covering topics from the Gulf's geology, oceanography to mangroves and fisheries, it will be a useful resource for many people.
FoGStV members have also been active in trying to ensure that the proposed dredging of the shipping channel at Outer Harbor does not increase the risk of spreading the very invasive, introduced marine alga, Caulerpa racemosa, which smothers seagrass beds.
Friday 1 April: Curry & Casserole Night
Fundraiser for FoPC & the Reedbeds Environment Resource Centre.
6:30pm Meal:Cost: $15 ($10 Friends of Reedbeds, S/P/U)
8:00pm Guest speaker: Dr Hugh Kirkman
(International Consultant in Marine Ecology)
Topic: Seagrasses and their environmental importance,
with particular emphasis on Gulf St Vincent
(attendance at talk only is welcome Free)
Download the flyer for this event - PDF version (132 Kb)
Thursday, 31 March 2005, 7:30 pm, at: The Reedbeds Community Centre, cnr. Fitch & Halsey Roads, Fulham (carpark entry off Phelps Court).
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the work program for the coming workday and other on-going projects
Sunday 3 April, from 9 am.
Meet at the busstop (18B) on West Beach Road (west of Tapleys Hill Road,
and adjacent to the Creek and the silt ponds).
Henley & Grange Dunecare have workdays on the second Sunday of each month at the nursery in Atkin Street, Henley Beach, at 10 am.