The revegetation of Gurrbum alongside Old Tully Road
Activities for 2021 C4 volunteers operate an Environmental Display Centre adjacent to the Mission Beach Visitor Information Centr4e, open 5 or 6 days a week. This Centre has information about the environmental significance of the Mission Beach area and its range of natural ecosystems as well as the threats to these ecosystems. The Centre stocks a wide range of books about the diversity of fauna and flora of the Wet Tropics, children's stories, environmental history books, many for sale but others in a well stocked reference library. Other items for sale are T-shirts, posters and post-cards while maps and similar information are available for tourists and local alike. School visits area regular occurrence.
Volunteers also run a nursery of local species of plants for both garden plantings and revegetation projects. The philosophy is that local wildlife needs local plants. Currently the nursery is holding over 15,000 plants and over 150 species.
The C4 Land Gift Fund is used in the purchase of environmentally-significant parcels of land, especially one under threat of habitat destruction. Our first purchase in conjunction with Queensland Trust For Nature was Lot 66 (now rebranded as Cassowary Connections). This block has historical significance for being 'saved' by Peter Garrett using the EPBA Act back in the days when it was actually used to protect the environment. Now a Nature Refuge, Lot 66 is available for purchase by someone who can protect this important wildlife corridor into the future.
Similarly C4 is currently working with QTFN on Gurrbum, between El Arish and Feluga, strengthening the east-west connectivity of forest from the coastal lowlands to the protected forests of the Wet Tropics WHA (and on to the southern Atherton Tableland). Gurrbum is in the same area as the new Wildlife Bridge over the Bruce Highway (under construction). Four hectares of abandoned banana paddocks are being revegetated, mostly in a fairly traditional way, but also incorporating trails of alternatives including 'Miyawaki forests' courtesy of Brettacorp.
C4 continues its advocacy role for the protection of habitat and wildlife as well as social amenity in the Mission Beach area. A very hard struggle at times (most times). The latest issue is a Development Application for a heliport adjacent to a significant area of remnant forest and riparian corridor as well as residential areas. Considerable community dissent ensued. Although the Cassowary Coast Planning Scheme includes wording to protect cassowary habitat, Council approval has been given, so now the matter is progressing to the Planning and Environment Court.
C4 is part of a group of Terrain, QPWS, and CCRC involved in ongoing discussions with TMR, Queensland Rail and Energy Queensland, regarding maintenance of habitat in and adjacent to their infrastructure corridors.
Events include community planting days, beach clean-ups, field-trips and community information sessions and film nights. Over the years C4 has assisted a number of university students working on forest and wildlife projects. C4 volunteers are still involved in the care of injured and orphaned cassowaries in the Garners Beach Cassowary Recovery Centre.