A FORMER local resident was named Coastal Champion at last week’s WA Coastal Awards for Excellence.
Marjorie Apthorpe was recognised for her long-standing role as founder, former chairwoman and co-ordinator of the Friends of North Ocean Reef-Iluka Foreshore.
With a passion for the coastal environment and as a strong advocate of non-herbicide weeding, Dr Apthorpe founded the group in 2005, co-ordinating volunteers in litter removal, hand-weeding and revegetation for more than 10 years.
She was also the driving force behind the rehabilitation of more than 30 hectares of weed-infested coastal foreshore reserve and bushland in Bush Forever Site 325.
During her time as chairwoman, she secured more than $200,000 in grants and recruited more than 70 volunteers.
She engaged with local government, schools, churches, corporate groups, TAFE and university students, girl guides and scouts to raise awareness of coastal issues and has mentored and supported many like-minded individuals over the past decade.
Dr Apthorpe resigned as chairwoman when she moved to NSW.
The City of Joondalup was also recognised at the awards, winning the local government category for its Coastal Adaptation Planning and Implementation (CAPI) project.
Last year, the City took proactive steps to identify and prepare for potential future changes to its 17km coastline caused by erosion and storm surges.
It developed and implemented the CAPI project to ensure the local community and those affected were informed of the potential risks.
This included a thorough community information and engagement campaign with media articles, advertisements, a direct mail out, information, technical reports and detailed mapping on its website and social media channels and a community information session.
The project also identified a long-term approach to guide the City’s future coastal adaptation practices, including a coastal monitoring program.
Mayor Troy Pickard congratulated “everyone at the City involved in this well-deserved success”.
He said the project “brought all aspects of coastal hazard risk and coastal adaptation under the umbrella of one project to ensure a co-ordinated and effective approach to coastal adaptation”.
The City was also was invited to present on the project to the State Coastal Management Advisory Group.
“The City has sought to share its experience and learnings from the CAPI with other local governments, stakeholders and research groups,” Mr Pickard said.
“In addition, we will continue to work in partnership with neighbouring local governments and State Government agencies to develop a coordinated approach on the issues of coastal risk.
“Our City recognises the value of the coastal environment and coastal infrastructure to the community and the positive contribution it can have on wellbeing and lifestyle and is committed to effective, transparent and genuine engagement with the community on this very important issue and will continue to provide information and updates to its local community.”
Planning Minister Rita Saffioti congratulated all award winners for “the great work they do in maintaining and caring for our precious coastline”.
“These awards highlight the importance of the coastline to our way of life and the value of the wonderful individuals and groups committed to caring for it,” she said.
“The combined volunteer efforts of dedicated everyday people provide enormous long-term benefits to the wider community.”