ShareOurShores: Dogs on Beaches

We need to know what YOU think. Take the online survey by going to goo.gl/e6MfVp

Barwon Coast Committee of Management is responsible for managing 13kms of coastal reserve from Collendina at the east of Ocean Grove to the western end of 13th Beach. As part of our management we aim to provide safe and equitable access to the coastal reserves for all users, as well as conserving the natural values of the area.

The ShareOurShores Campaign is a project run by Barwon Coast focussing on all aspects of equitable use by all types of beach users. Current projects running under the ShareOurShores Banner include ‘Responsible Boating Behaviour’, ‘Reducing Human Impact on Sand Dunes’ and ‘Dogs on Beaches’.

ShareOurShores: Dogs on Beaches

The use of beaches by people walking dogs has the potential to impact on other types of users of the beach. Walking dogs is one aspect of equitable beach use that Barwon Coast are aiming to improve management and understanding of through ShareOurShores.

To ensure safe and equitable access for all, Barwon Coast, in conjunction with the City of Greater Geelong regulate access to beaches for dogs (see the attached pdf of the current regulations). The current regulations will be reviewed in 2018.  A public consultation process will be conducted for this review. Information on how you can be involved in this public consultation process will be provided on the Barwon Coast website, Barwon Coast Facebook and Twitter Accounts and via local newspapers.

Share Our Shores: Dogs on Beaches Public Consultation Process

Step 1: ShareOurShores Campaign Launch
November 2017

Step 2: Federation University Social Research Project: Barwon Coast – Examining impacts of population, domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and seasonal variants on coastal environments
January 2018 to April 2018

Step 3: Workshops and meetings with the general community and key stakeholder groups to discuss and review regulations for dogs on beaches on the Barwon Coast.
June 2018 to December 2018. Further information to follow closer to these dates.

Step 1: ShareOurShores Campaign Launch

As a first step in the public consultation process, Barwon Coast held a launch of the Share Our Shores Campaign in November 2017.  Attendees at these events were informed on the current status and issues surrounding dogs on beaches on the Barwon Coast. A survey asking for the views and opinions on dogs on beaches was distributed to those who attended. Over 80 responses were collected and the information will assist Barwon Coast in managing dogs on beaches. The data from these responses are now being analysed by researchers from Federation University and will provide background date for Step 2 of the ShareOurShores: Dogs on Beaches Public Consultation Process

Step 2: Federation University Social Research Project: Barwon Coast – Examining impacts of population, domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and seasonal variants on coastal environments

Barwon Coast have hired researchers from Federation University to undertake research. This will be conducted from January 16th 2018 to 15th April 2018. Data gathered through this research will assist Barwon Coast in understanding the social, seasonal and cultural issues that influence how different groups within the community use the beach and coastal reserves. This will provide a baseline of data that can be used in planning for future regulation of dogs on beaches. The report on the research data will be publicly available and provided for download on the Barwon Coast website. The expected completion date for the research report is June 2018.

The research project aims to:

  • Develop a profile of the population using Barwon Coast coastal reserves;
  • Build an understanding of issues arising from shared beach use by people and domestic animals;
  • Gather information relating to different views on a range of coastal management issues; and
  • Develop a response strategy informed by feedback from local community members and visitors to the beaches, to ensure that future coastal management is as effective and responsive as possible.

The research project relies heavily on the involvement of the general public to take part in online surveys and phone interviews to provide insights into the dogs on beaches issue. Information gathered through individual surveys and interviews will only be accessible be Federation University Researchers and will be treated confidentially. If you would like to take the online survey please go to goo.gl/e6MfVp

To be involved in an interview for this project or for further information please contact Federation University Australia on (03) 5327 6198 or via email at aa.murphy@federation.edu.au