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Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP

07 June 2002

Reward for an Australian Coastal Champion

The Howard Government's Coastcare program is rewarding the efforts of an Australian coastal champion with the adventure of a lifetime - a 14-day berth on the tall ship, Windeward Bound.

Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp said a coastal champion is anyone who has made a valuable contribution to the protection and conservation of our coasts.

"Through hard work, planning and determination coastal champions identify, reduce, solve or avoid environmental problems on the coasts we all enjoy," Dr Kemp said.

"A coastal champion might be a community leader promoting educational activities to increase knowledge and appreciation of our coasts and oceans. They might organise working bees for clean ups, fence and path building or water quality monitoring.

"A coastal champion might also be one of the many deserving and dedicated Australian volunteers who give up their time to clean up beaches, build board walks and paths, protect marine animals such as turtles and shorebirds, and plant coastal trees, shrubs and grasses - to name just a few of the things they do.

"Many coastal champions protect marine life from threats by humans and feral animals. Turtles nesting in the sand, beached whales and sea grasses, where many animals breed, all need the help of coastal champions from time to time in order to survive.

"I encourage Australians to nominate themselves or someone they know who is an outstanding champion for the coastal environment. Nominations must be 300 words or less and describe the nominees work to protect and conserve our beautiful coastline," Dr Kemp said.

The winning coastal champion will experience life as a crew member on the Coastcare sponsored Windeward Bound which sailed out of Sydney Harbour on 7 March 2002. The Windeward Bound is currently re-enacting Matthew Flinders epic circumnavigation of the continent 200 years ago, when he was the first to map the coastline and call the country Australia.

"The coastal champion will be able to help the permanent Windeward Bound crew record sightings of marine species such as whales and dolphins and trial marine water quality monitoring techniques," Dr Kemp said.

Coastcare is supported by $15 million in funding under the Howard Government's $2.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust. It supports community involvement in coastal management and protection.

The coastal champion reward is being awarded through a competition in partnership with The Australian newspaper.

Entry forms will be featured in The Australian newspaper or telephone Environment Australia's Community Information Unit on 1800 803 772. The competition closes on 8 September 2002.

Media contact:
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400

Commonwealth of Australia