Platypus Quest and Dog Detectives Among Environmental Levy-Funded Projects

Searches for some of our best-known but shy wildlife using water-borne DNA and Dog Detectives are among the 18 projects that will share a total of $366,149 from Council’s Environmental Levy (EL) funds for 2021/2022.

The Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance was successful in gaining funding for its ‘Surveying Platypus Populations in the Orara Valley Using eDNA Technology’ project which will use innovative science and citizen scientists to investigate the impacts of bushfires and other threats on platypus populations in the Orara Valley. Using pre-fire data, around 30 sites will be studied through water sampling to search for platypus DNA in local waterways to help establish the status of the local platypus population.

The Alliance is also behind a plan to use specially trained Canine Scent Detectives to find koala scats for future genetic analysis in the Sawtell-Toormina-Boambee area. The project will undertake a detailed survey of koala activity in an area known to support an important, but fragmented koala population. The resulting DNA profiling and population analysis can then be used to establish the comparative health and genetic diversity of these populations.

Other successful organisations included the Sandy Beach Action Group, Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land Council, Nana Glen Landcare Group, Woolgoolga Lake Working Group, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare, Envite, University of New England and Jetty Dunecare.

Council introduced the Environmental Levy (EL) as a means of encouraging local residents and organisations to undertake environmental management and improvement works. The levy currently raises around $1.3 million a year at an average cost of $44 per ratepayer, of which approximately $300,000 is available to community groups.

“As always it’s fantastic to see a hugely diverse range of projects being put forward by groups that are passionate about their work and our environment,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor Councillor Denise Knight.

View the full details of the 18 projects to be funded in this round

The following projects have received funding in this latest round of EL funding:

ApplicantProject NameAmount ($)
Jetty DunecareRestore and Enhance the Natural Environment of Boambee Beach North25,000
Jetty DunecareRestore and Enhance the Natural Environment of Jetty Foreshores25,000
Jetty DunecarePre-empting the Sleeping Invader – Glory Lily @ Boambee Beach25,000
Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land CouncilImproving Our Coast – Part 225,000
Nana Glen Landcare GroupRehabilitating the Coldwater Creek Travelling Stock Reserve (TSR39744) – Phase 215,000
Coffs Harbour Regional LandcareGrowing Our Future 2021/202224,695
Coffs Harbour Regional LandcareImproving Land Management Practices in the Coffs LGA15,000
University of New EnglandEcohealth website for Coffs coastal catchments20,000
EnviteBoambee East/Toormina Koala Corridor Improvement20,000
EnviteUpper Bonville Riparian Restoration Action Stage 220,000
EnviteCoffs Harbour Native Seedbank Network16,012
Jaliigirr Biodiversity AllianceSurveying Platypus Populations in the Orara Valley Using eDNA Technology20,000
Jaliigirr Biodiversity AllianceCanine Scent Detectives and Genetics Analysis Promoting Koala Population Health in Jaliigirr Corridors – Stage 220,000
Sandy Beach Action GroupRevegetation of Sandy Beach Reserve Stage 47,000
Southern Cross UniversityCatchment Scale Dissolved Metals Export into Coffs Coast Estuaries25,000
Southern Cross UniversityFurther Investigating Trace Metal Pollution in Sandy Beach25,000
Southern Cross UniversityValuation of Water Quality Regulation Services by Shellfish in Woolgoolga Lake20,000
Woolgoolga Lake Working GroupCaring for our Waterways – Stage 218,442
Total366,149

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