Preserving our Peninsula

Published 10:00am 15 April 2024

Preserving our Peninsula
Words by Nadia Chapman

As World Earth Day approaches on April 22, one local not-for-profit organisation continues to preserve the Peninsula’s environment.

REF Environmental was first established in 2005 as the Redcliffe Environmental Forum and aimed to Rehabilitate, Educate and Facilitate.

Almost 20 years later while REF Environmental has evolved, its mission to raise awareness of the environment and the flora and fauna of Moreton Bay has endured.

REF Environmental President Bob Crudgington says the group has achieved many milestones.

“Nathan Road wetlands would probably be our biggest one. That was removing a lot of broad-leaved pepper…” Bob says.

“…It’s a key area for birds. But we’ve actually done a lot of work in Hays Inlet as well. We’ve had four Green Army projects…and since then, we’ve had bushcare and we have days where we work on the site to keep it up.

“The main bushcare site was part of the transfer station and they gave it to us. It was basically a paddock full of weeds, but now it’s a koala habitat up to 10m tall now.”

For more than nine years, REF Environmental has also conducted bird surveys and has collected data for 145 species in the area.

When asked what the biggest threat to the Peninsula’s environment is, Bob says: “I think the biggest threat is development. We’ve had so much development; you’ve got your storm water runoff, the pollution…and just the massive amounts of weeds that are in the wetland areas.

“I think managing the development better and trying to invest more into repairing the wetlands.

“It’s about the general public understanding and caring about the wetlands…”

Big plans for environmental hub

REF Environmental now engages in bushcare at Deception Bay Conservation Park and maintains the Deception Bay Environmental Hub – which they have plans for this year.

“(We will have) education sessions and workshops for the environment, just to highlight things,” Bob says.

“We have partnership with Deception Bay Neighbourhood Centre, so they’ll use it for adult learning during the day; Monday to Thursday, and then we have workshops and information nights in the evenings.

“Our goal is to try and expand that area and the number of events. We really do want to get more engaged with the community in the Deception Bay area and we’re keen to get more people joining and looking at other community activities, just to make sure we really take advantage of the venue.

“(We’re) trying to make up more of a citizen science learning area and environment.”

For more information, visit redenviroforum.org

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