Posted on 12/09/2013 by Phillip Island Nature Parks
Phillip Island Nature Parks has been awarded the 2013 Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence; ‘Natural Environment Award’ for the restoration of the Summerland Peninsula.
The submission titled ‘Saving Summerland – A Peninsula for the Penguins’ details the Nature Parks’ 25-year commitment to returning the Summerland Peninsula to the penguins through the Victorian Government’s world-first buyback program of a housing estate. This, coupled with ongoing research, habitat restoration and detailed planning have ensured the future of the penguin colony and the spectacular coastal environment.
The project began in 1985 when the Victorian Government announced the ‘Penguin Protection Plan’. The cornerstone of the plan was the long-term buy-back of the Summerland Housing Estate so that the Peninsula could be restored for penguins, coastal environmental values and wildlife.
The project objectives were to buy back the 776 privately-owned allotments on the housing estate (183 houses and 600 vacant blocks), rehabilitate the area and save the penguin population through management and research initiatives including predator control, traffic management and ongoing monitoring.
In 2013, over 25 years later, the project is complete and the Peninsula’s very special coastal environment and wildlife populations have been restored.
The project has made sweeping changes to the visual landscape and restored stunning views of Western Port and Bass Strait, as well as lowered the risk of fire through the removal of power lines. Over 110,000 plants have been put in to transform the former housing blocks into future penguin homes and 1,542 penguin boxes have been installed to cater for the increasing number of penguins.
“We are extremely proud of this unique project which has long-term benefits for all Victorians,” said Matthew Jackson, Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Chief Executive Officer.
“Winning this award reinforces the Nature Parks’ continuing environmental excellence and commitment to our peers and community. May I take this opportunity to congratulate all staff, volunteers, partner agencies, successive Victorian governments and community members who have been involved in this achievement over many years.”
Hosted by the Victorian Coastal Council, the Coastal Awards are now in their 14th year. The Natural Environment Award is presented to an individual, group or body in recognition of their contribution to the improvement of coastal and marine environments, and for excellence in contributions to the conservation and protection of marine and coastal species and ecosystems.
Phillip Island Nature Parks wins Victorian Coastal Award for Excellence
Danene Jones - communications executive
Phillip Island Nature Parks
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