Surf Beach Sunderland Bay Coastcare

Care for the coast you love

Rabbit Exclusion Coup Trial, Sunderland Bay – 20 November 2016

A trial of a new Rabbit Exclusion Coup at Sunderland Bay to monitor the regrowth of vegetation and protect the heathland species.

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Rabbit Exclusion Area – Investigation & Planning – 16 October 2016


Surf Beach Sunderland Bay Coastcare Group created a rabbit exclusion area in the Sunderland Bay area around five years ago, following our review of our Vegetation Management Plan works schedule – it was time to inspect it and monitor the site again.

We found the wire fencing had holes in it and the rabbits were actually grazing inside the area and the Grass Triggerplants – Stylidium graminifolium were under attack. We planned to come back next month and remove the old fencing and trial a new type of exclusion coup.






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Orchid spotting with Alison Oates – 16 October 2016

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Surfies Point carpark planting – 18 September 2016


Great team effort at Surfies Point – we planted 250 plants with a range of bushes, trees and grasses.

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T’is the season to be planting! Dixon Street, August 2016

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Planting at Dixon Street, 21 August 2016 – A small but efficient team!

–  8 Leucopogon parvifolia

–  120 poa grass/ Caleocephalus lacteus mix

–  40 Goodenia ovata prostrate

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Weed Eradication at Sunderland Bay 15 May 2016


Weed identification – Checking out the Carpobrotus species to determine if it is an exotic or hybrid such as Angled Pigface (Carpobrotus aequilaterus) which has been treated at this site. A garden escapee that is polluting the gene pool of the indigenous species.


Our coastcare team was joined by local expert Alison Oates who has been producing a Vegetation Management Plan for the North South Coast as well as a Weed Management Plan for Phillip Island Nature Parks.


Keying out the Carpobrotus species. Identification best takes place in late spring to summer by cutting across the fruits to expose the carpels (like sections of an orange). If there are 7 or less carpels it is indigenous, but if it has 8 or more it is exotic or hybridised. Other characteriastics such as colour or internode length can be variable particularly with hybridisation.

Hunting for Gorse

Hunting for Gorse


There is still a lot of Gorse on the headland that needs to be treated as well as Sweet Pittosporum that can be seen flowering at the moment. — at Sunderland Bay – Phillip Island.

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Join the Nurdle Hunters – Marine Debris Survey – Surf Beach 19 July 2015

SBSB Coastcare Marine Debris Survey team 19 July 2015 SBSB Coastcare Rob and Ineke collecting nurdles Nurdle close up

Have you ever seen a “nurdle” on the beach? Look closely at the tideline and you may find these small 2-3 mm plastic pellets that are washing up all over Port Phillip Bay and have now migrated down the coast to Phillip Island. They are industrial polyethylene pellets, and have been tracked by Port Phillip Ecocentre’s Coordinator and Baykeeper, Neil Blake, coming from stormwater systems into Port Phillip Bay, with the likely source of spills from loading bays in industrial areas of Melbourne.

Port Phillip Baykeeper report Nurdle Soup? Preliminary investigation of nurdles in Port Phillip Bay Oct 2013

Our SBSB Coastcare group conducted a Marne Debris Survey along Surf Beach and found many “nurdles” along with other small plastic chips, bottle tops, bags and rope etc. We are going to collate our results and put the data onto the Tangarora Blue Australian Marine Debris Initiative website.

The main concern is the threat from plastics to our local wildlife and in particular the Short-tailed Shearwaters who are known to ingest the plastics and feed them to their chicks. And this is happening when they breed on our coastline at Phillip Island.

The CSIRO research paper by Mark J.Carey on the Intergenerational transfer of plastic debris by Short-tailed Shearwaters, provides some detailed insight into this problem.

Carey 2011 Shearwater plastics

We would like to extend a callout to all other Coastcare groups at Phillip Island and beyond to include a Marine Debris clean up and survey as part of your activities. We are happy to share our resources and provide support.
We are also in the process of planning a series of COASTCARE FILM NIGHTS & COMMUNITY FORUMS with the first topic being Coastcare Action on Marine Debris.
Stay tuned for more details to come!
If you would like to get involved and provide support please contact us at
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WORKING BEE & Community BBQ is on this Sunday 19 July

A call out to all locals – Surf Beach Sunderland Bay Coastcare WORKING BEE is on this Sunday 19 July.
Come along and join the locals who care for the coast you love!
Meet 10am at Surfies Pt carpark.
Activities include:
  • Setting up veggie garden beds and planting at the new Surf Beach Community Park
  • Moonah planting
  • Marine debris & micro plastics beach clean up
  • Data monitoring of marine debris for Tangaraoa Blue Marine Debris Database
12.00pm Community BBQ at the Community Park – BYO drinks
Community park
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Welcome to our new Surf Beach Sunderland Bay Coastcare site

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We have just created a new logo which features the surf, sandy beaches and coastal vegetation that we love and protect and the Short-tailed Shearwater that migrates to nest and breed in rookeries along our beautiful coastline.

We meet on the third Sunday of the month at Surfies Pt carpark, come and join us and care for the coast you love!

Contact us:

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Are you looking for a challenge?

New volunteers welcome. Do something good for the coast you love!


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