How you can help
Wherever you live there are plants that either should not be grown in gardens or should be carefully managed to avoid them spreading. Garden plants that “escape” over the fence are environmental weeds.
Weeds are one of the major threats to Australia’s natural environment. Major weed invasions change the natural diversity and balance of ecological communities. These changes threaten the survival of many plants and animals because the weeds compete with native plants for space, nutrients, and sunlight.
A disturbed environment provides the perfect conditions to suit an invading weed. As a result, the weed may:
- Grow faster than native plants and successfully compete for available nutrients, water, space, and sunlight
- Reduce natural diversity by smothering native plants or preventing them from growing back after clearing, fire or other disturbance
- Replace the native plants that animals use for shelter, food, and nesting.
- Weeds are often excellent at surviving and reproducing in disturbed environments and are often the first species to colonize and dominate in these conditions.
What can you do to stop the spread of weeds?
- Avoid purchasing invasive plants and remove invasive species from your garden.
- If you see a plant for sale that is a potential weed bring it to the attention of nursery staff.
- Plant native species from your local area that are naturally suited to coastal conditions.
- Check to see if the plant you are buying for your garden is considered an invasive plant in your area.
Top 7 coastal weeds on Lower Eyre Peninsula
- Polygala (Polygala myrtifolia) (photo to the right)
- Buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus)
- Asparagus weeds
- Cotoneaster sp.
- Pink Diosma (Coleonema pulchellum)
- Freesia (Freesia alba x leichtlinii)
- Lavatory creeper (Dopogan lignosus)
Everyday things you can do to help care for the coast
The problem with plastic in the environment
Plastic doesn’t biodegrade…..that means it doesn’t rot like something organic such as an apple.
When plastic gets old it can become brittle and just breaks into ever smaller pieces of the same material- plastic.
Plastics bags can last in the environment for up to 1,000 years and as they float easily in air and water can travel long distances. Landscapes littered with plastic bags are hazardous to wildlife and visually unattractive, especially in our coast and marine environment.
Many thousands of marine mammals and seabirds die every year around the world as a result of plastic litter. Plastics appear to be food to marine life when eaten they can physically block the digestive system, causing pain, internal injuries, suppression of the immune and reproductive systems and death.
Plastic sheeting and cloth can settle over immobile plants and animals like coral reefs, smothering them and rendering them uninhabitable and unproductive. Marine animals can also become entangled in plastics and die from strangulation
How long does marine debris take to break down in the ocean?
|Item||length of time|
|Cotton Cloth||1-5 Months|
|Milk Carton||3 Months|
|Natural Fibre Rope||2–14 months|
|Cigarette Butt||2–10 years|
|Styrofoam Cup||50 years|
|Tin Can||50 – 100 years|
|Aluminum Can||200 – 500 years|
|Plastic Bottle||450 years|
|Monofilament Fishing Line||600 years|
Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle
Take your own bag with you to the supermarket, use a refillable cup for takeaway coffee, refuse single-use plastics such as drinking straws, reduce your use of plastics and reuse and recycle where possible
Boat owners and recreational fishers: Stow your rubbish, don’t throw it and ensure that it doesn’t accidentally blow overboard, particularly fishing tackle, plastic bait bags, ropes. Dumping rubbish at sea is illegal.