Notice of AGM 26 March 2021

Far Eastern Curlew. Photo: Georgina Steytler

The annual general meeting of the Swan Bay Environment Association will be held at the Queenscliff Uniting Church Hall on Friday 26 March 2021 at 7:30 pm.

The Guest Speaker will be Dr Craig Sherman, who will be talking about the ‘Restoration of intertidal seagrass meadows’.

The Committee will put forward a motion at the AGM to increase membership fees.

Following careful consideration, the Committee believes an increase in membership fees is justified. The Association’s membership fees have remained very low for many years as our costs have long been subsidised by our profitable nursery. While the nursery remains profitable, we now have greater obligations to paid staff to ensure our Association remains financially strong.

The current fees in many cases do not cover the costs of postage for newsletters (up to $4.40 per member/year) and insurance (~$8/member/year). The committee is recommending that we double the fees. The date of our last fee increase is uncertain, but it was before 2013.

As our fees form part of our Association rules, to change them requires a motion to be agreed to at our AGM. Therefore, notice is given here that the following motion will be put to the AGM:

‘That we double the Membership Fee for all categories and restrict it to an annual payment, due at the time of the AGM’.

The cost of Concession members would increase from $5 to $10, Ordinary members from $10 to $20, and Family members from $15 to $30. Those members who have paid their fees in advance will be unaffected.

Hear about Swan Bay seagrasses at our AGM

At times of very low tides, Swan Bay provides a spectacular scene of green seagrass meadows on the shallow floor of huge parts of the Bay, while the remaining watercourses provide a blue contrast.

Have you ever wondered about those green swathes and what happens out there in the Bay?

The seagrasses are host to more than 250 animal species and are the basis of the bay’s productivity, in part due to the ability of their roots to ‘fix’ nitrogen, much like legumes.

Crabs, snails and young fish use the meadows as nurseries. Dead seagrass washed onto the shoreline or having sunk to the bottom is an important food source and habitat for many animals.

Seagrass meadows store significant amounts of carbon. Their protection will prevent carbon release into the atmosphere and help tackle climate change.

At the Swan Bay Environment Association’s AGM, Associate Professor Craig Sherman will be talking about the tools his team are developing to restore Victorian seagrass meadows.

Dr Sherman is a marine ecologist and one of the group leaders of the EcoGenetics Lab at Deakin University.

Through collaboration with researchers in Europe, they have trialled several techniques for seagrass restoration, but all require increased knowledge of the biology of our unique local seagrass species.

Craig will be speaking on ‘The Restoration of Intertidal Seagrass Meadows’ at our AGM on Friday March 26 at 7.30pm in the Queenscliff Uniting Church.

All are welcome.