Local cycles down east coast in 'urgent' bid to save koalas
HE'S been leading the charge to clean up our local beaches as a dedicated member of Sea Shepherd Coffs Harbour, and now Darren Squibb is cycling down the coast in a bid to bring to light not only the 'plight' of our oceans, but our koala populations.
The Nambucca local began his 360km "No Sea No Me, No Tree No Me” cycle tour on Sunday from his childhood home, Cape Byron Lighthouse, and is due to reach Valla on Wednesday afternoon.
”The mission of my cycle tour is twofold,” Mr Squibb said.
”To raise awareness to the devastating plight of our oceans, not only through increasing marine pollution, but also unsustainable fishing, discarded long line fish nets, shark finning, by-catch from fishing nets and shark nets, dolphin slaughter, and now the disappearance of the Great Barrier Reef from bleaching due to global warming.
"Similarly with our precious native forests - Australia, especially the eastern states are experiencing devastating native forest destruction through logging and land clearing.
”This has only been made worse by recently signed Regional Forestry Agreements and the NSW Government's changes to environmental protection for our native forests and koalas.”
Mr Squibb said with forests between Kempsey and Grafton now set to be logged under the changes, it was "incomprehensible” the impact it could have on the mid north coast koala populations.
"One extremely sad and concerning change for me is the relinquishing of requirements by loggers and land-clearers to check the trees for koalas and other species before felling them. One can imagine how potentially devastating this will be to rapidly declining koalas and other native animals,” he said.
Mr Squibb has been speaking to locals and handing out information and stickers as he makes his way down the coast.
The WIRES volunteer visited the Lismore Koala Sanctuary on Sunday and is set to make several local stops at Woolgoolga Headland, South Solitary Islands Marine Park, Coffs Jetty, Bonville Headland, and Bellingen Environment Centre.