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How a goat’s foot can help our beach

How a goat’s foot can help our beach

by February 1, 2015

The Gold Coast beaches are home to a great diversity of native dune plants that have some fascinating names. On your next visit to the beach; keep your eye out for barbed wire grass, pigface, goat’s foot, devil’s twine or coastal lovegrass! Other than lovegrass, the names may suggest these are plants that aren’t useful, pretty or required; however nothing is more to the contrary. Many of these coastal plants have gorgeous flowers with vibrant colours of purple or yellow. Some of them have even had some great use for aborigines who ate their fruit raw and roasted their leaves to supply salt to their diet but most importantly… they play an incredibly important role in preventing sand erosion!

Vegetation on the dunes is able to capture and hold windblown sand, therefore acting as a sand storage system for the dunes in the event of storms and erosion. The roots provide stability to this last line of defence and the plant itself is able to lessen the speed of the onshore winds. Without our coastal plants we would lose our beloved beach!

BeachCare and CoastEd, programs of the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management in partnership with the City of Gold Coast, have been working towards the revegetation of the dune areas along the Gold Coast. Everyone who regularly uses the beach can also actively help in protecting these fragile environments. Make sure you stay clear from the dune plants and don’t walk on top of them, don’t litter on the beach and dunes and maybe join one of many BeachCare groups in your local area! You can make sure that these coastal beauties are able to continue their essential role to keep our beach together so we can have lots of sand today, tomorrow and many years to come.

By Maggie Muurmans, Griffith Centre Coastal Management

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