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EcoUpdate : August 2021

Welcome to the very first issue of the EcoNetwork Port Stephens EcoUpdate – and discover what the hardworking community groups and individuals are up to in and around Port Stephens.

EcoUpdate brings you a smorgasbord of what’s on, what’s been and what could be! It will exist and succeed because of you – all of you. To receive it direct to your inbox, subscribe here.

As positive and progressive conservationists, we will have a stronger voice when we combine as an influential force for change where it’s needed – or as a safeguard when it’s not.

This is your opportunity to make a significant contribution to the bigger conservation picture in Port Stephens. So … please send us details of your successes, challenges and upcoming events or issues. And don’t forget to include some photos too!

Below are some stories which will give you an idea of the scope and variety of EcoNetwork’s base as well as the length and type of contributions we encourage. Do let us know what you’d like to see in the EcoUpdate – your voice matters to us, please contribute and share. 

We look forward to hearing from you.

James Niland, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

EcoPollinators: What’s the buzz about the birds, bees, butterflies and beetles?

They’re the subject of EcoNetwork’s very first special interest group, EcoPollinators, a community-based sustainability program to conserve and expand habitat for native pollinators, like this little beauty.

Read more about the role of the Blue Banded Bee and how it contributes to the future health of our environment.

Climate Action Port Stephens

Climate Action Port Stephens (CAPS) is a not-for-profit community group of Port Stephens residents who are concerned about the global climate and ecological crisis and want to see real climate action in their community. CAPS works to motivate, educate and empower the community and local government to take action to address the climate crisis. CAPS members have held small local demonstrations in support of School Strike for Climate and Friday’s for Future. Sign up to our email list by sending your email to, Like us on Facebook, or Follow us on Instagram, or check out our website  if you would like to get involved and find out more. 

Have you seen this sign? Sounds like good news for koalas.

You would think that fewer koala deaths is a good thing, but these numbers reflect more than meets the eye. Encounters with koalas by the local community are more rare these days and although we don’t know for certain how many koalas are out there, fewer deaths means likely fewer healthy animals left in the wild. Read more.

White-bellied Sea Eagles Return

A pair of sea eagles (Haliaeetus leucogaster) have returned to a nest in the Mambo-Wanda Wetlands that they vacated in 2018. The pair last bred there in the summer of 2017-18 but did not use the nest in subsequent seasons till now.

The white-bellied sea eagle is listed as a Vulnerable species under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. The breeding period in eastern Australia extends from June to December and usually one or two eggs are laid. Incubation takes 35-40 days and the young fledge from October to January.

One bird, probably the female, is currently sitting on the nest which suggests eggs have already been laid. The nest is well hidden atop a large blackbutt tree overlooking the waters of Salamander Bay. The two adults have been seen around the area since March, often roosting near the nest site.

Read more about the White-Bellied Sea Eagle. Thank you to Neil Fraser for his observations and photo. Neil is monitoring the birds and we will ‘watch this space’ to see what happens next.

Sustainable Futures Festival

EcoNetwork Port Stephens invites you to our inaugural event – the Sustainable Futures Festival on 21 November* at Tomaree High School, Salamander Bay. Featuring environmental innovation, sustainable living and different ways in which nature enriches our lives.

Adapting to new technologies can be a challenge – yet acknowledging that change is inevitable is the first step towards practical solutions that really work. To find out more – come to the Sustainable Futures Festival!

(* postponed until 2022 due to Covid-19 restrictions)

Friends of Tomaree National Park: Kicking the milestones for Tomaree.

Nine months ago, a few dedicated souls got together and formed Friends of Tomaree National Park which has grown to around 50 registered participants, with many helping at either of our two locations – Zenith Beach and Tomaree Head in North Tomaree, and Fishermans Bay to the south.

Read about the work they are doing, and how volunteers from the local communities are getting together to protect and improve their local areas of Tomaree National Park.

Whose Future Matters More?

The Australian Federal Court recently recognised that decisions taken today can, and will, have an effect on the lives of our children and that these must be taken into account when approving expansion of fossil fuel extraction. This ruling was based on a class action brought against the Minister for the Environment by eight Australian Children.

Read more about this significant court action – and closer to home, what has Port Stephens Council pledged in its response to climate change?

3 things you can do in 3 minutes

‘Off the beautiful beaches, and amongst breathtaking coral reefs of Australia lurks a deadly and indiscriminate killer. Its thirst for blood kills 1000s each and every year. It lies in wait day after day for innocent victims to swim right into its mouth.

It’s not sharks. It’s the Government Shark Control Program.’


No dead end for Foreshore Drive

You may recall that heavy rain, tidal swells and poor maintenance combined and caused the collapse of the culvert on 18 March this year. Many local people were happy for the road to remain closed as there was less traffic, it was quieter and the wetlands seemed to appreciate the greater inflow and outflow of water now made possible.

Read more.

EcoNetwork Port Stephens 

Our Purpose: To support our members and to educate and advocate on environmental issues that impact Port Stephens communities.

Our Vision: Ecologically sustainable communities existing in harmony with the natural environment. : : facebook