Bowen is home to five iconic turtle species, listed as endangered or vulnerable.
Community Action Grants assisted two local community groups to work in partnership to protect these important coastal visitors.
Narrator: As part of the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative, Community Action Grants were made available to community groups that are taking action to preserve and protect their natural environment.
This small grants program was designed to address several priority areas including coastal environments and critical aquatic habitats.
In the first round Community Action Grants assisted 79 community groups across Australia to protect our coasts and waterways.
Two projects that received support in this area focussed on turtle conservation in Queensland.
Brooke Corrie: "We applied for a Community Action Grant because there was a definite need in the Bowen region. There was a lot of turtles coming up to the road and getting damaged by cars. Our group set out firstly to remove the current lighting that was spilling onto the beach and this was actually deterring the turtles from nesting and once the hatchlings were out that was also creating a problem because they were coming up to the road."
James Gaston: "When the turtles are nesting they always seem to head for the lights so with that shade over it hopefully more will get into the water."
Brooke Corrie: "Our second priority was for the pamphlets. We produced some pamphlets for the community just telling them the issues and problems with marine turtles in their area and just to increase their awareness.
Some of the other groups that we’ve been involved with have actually got their own projects up and running now. Queens Beach Action Group are currently undertaking a project where they're monitoring the turtles because they’re facing a disease that they haven’t seen before."
Pat Garrod: "We’ve actually educated all the schools and most of the school children know about them, and the general public. Only got to be a turtle stranding and I will get a telephone call, they’re only has to be a turtle track and I will get a call."
James Gaston: "Turtles are one of the tings where everybody can get together, not only older people but right down to the school kids."
Ivan Garrod: "We look after the turtles now to get them in the water and we want them in 40 years’ time to look after the turtles when they come out of the water, so it’s a great thing for us to know that in future generations perhaps we’ve got somebody there to look after the turtles."
Brooke Corrie: "It’s vital that the community plays a role in the protection of the coastal habitats. They share this area with the plants and animals around here so the impacts that they have on the coastal areas really does make a difference."