Coast staff win award

Geraldton Guardian

The Batavia Coast Maritime Institute’s staff were surprised to receive the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage’s On-ground Coastal Management Award at the recent 2017 WA Coastal Awards for Excellence.

The institute was recognised for its protection and restoration efforts at the Abrolhos Islands, which over a four-year period involved more than 600 community, student and stakeholder volunteers, more than 17,000 working hours and 157 days of field work across 32 of the islands.

Project manager Maryke Gray said the award came as a complete surprise and it was great for her team to have been recognised formally.

“I’m thrilled the TAFE has won this award as it is a testament to the hard work that has gone in, not only for this project but also across the various projects conducted at the BCMI,” Ms Gray said.

“This project was a great opportunity for students to receive the theory in the classroom and then step out and receive real-life practical experience.

“They also had many opportunities to network with project partners and those in the industry.”

The project was funded by the Federal Government.

It involved installing erosion-control matting and activities such as mangrove mapping, seedling germination, revegetation, weed removal, marine debris removal, mouse eradication, and seabird and habitat monitoring.

Ms Gray credited the success of the project to the collaboration of several partners, including Central Regional TAFE Geraldton Campus, Northern Agricultural Catchments Council, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions, Geraldton Senior College and the Museum of Geraldton.

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