MARINE biologist and ‘Mermaid’ Alice Forrest has taken out Manly Environment Centre's 10th annual ECO-AWARD 

The 26-year-old received the award from Manly Mayor Jean Hay at Manly Sea Life Sanctuary last week, in front of a crowd of enthusiastic supporters and noisy Fairy Penguins.

Alice was chosen from a record 31 nominations for her passion, dedication and leadership qualities.

She has made a huge contribution to the conservation of Manly's environment, played a key role in many local campaign including No Shark Cull, Save our Marine Sanctuaries, Cash for Containers, the anti-CSG campaign Our Land Our Water Our Future, the Two Hands Project and Plastic Pollution rallies.

“Alice is an inspiring young woman, particularly in public forums," Cr Hay said. "Her contagious energy encourages and inspires other people to join in and be part of protecting the environment. And she is also a ‘mermaid’! She has a tail and is a member of The Mermaid Society with her own blog."

The Eco-Award judging panel was impressed by Alice's knowledge, energy and the diversity of her skills.

It was not an easy choice with many eco-warriers nominated for the award, including Dr Alicia Lloyd , Allyson Jennings, Angela van Boxtel, Anne Edwards, Aunty Frances Bodkin, Bram Nieskens, David Tribe, Diane Dean, Dirk Nagel, Franka Simkin, Hayley Brown, Howard Gilmore, Isabel Dreyer, Jake Tagg, Jenny Wilson, John Turnbull, Jools Farrell , Kate Leven, Loani Tierney, Mari Swinburne, Michella Burgers, Nicholas Vale, Patricia Griffen, Phyllis Brice, Rosanna Perillo-Boutin, Sarah Avci, Sue Mathews, Sharnie Connell, Stacey Randell and Wendy Ashmore.

Alice was presented with a painting by Mark Budd, a well known Manly artist whose exuberant works can be seen at the Manly Environment Centre and in many local restaurants and bars.

Pictures:  Collages of all prize winners, Alice Forrest with other award nominees; nominee Sharnie Connell congratulates Alice on her win; Alice and dignitaries; Manly Mayor Jean Hay; Sharnie, Alice; food and drinks served by ICMS students; previous winner Silke Stuckenbrock and Andy Vogt; wait staff team from ICMS; nominee Angela van Boxtel; and Friends of Cabbage Tree Bay Carmen, Janine and Wendy.  Thanks to Dave Thomas and Silke Stuckenbrock for photography. 









It's time for the 10th MEC Eco Awards 2015. 

Eco Awards 2014 winners 

Time to nominate your Unsung Hero - 

an ordinary person doing extraordinary things for Manly’s environment.


Do you know of someone who deserves acknowledgment for their outstanding environmental and conservation achievements to protect Manly’s unique natural environment? 

The Manly environment Centre is seeking nominations on behalf of members of the community  who have volunteered their time and efforts to benefit Manly’s diverse and valuable natural habitat.

The award is open to people over 18, from all walks of life – ‘Ordinary people doing extraordinary things for the conservation of Manly’s environment’.


Nominate your Unsung Hero in 3 easy steps:-


  1. Download a nomination form here
  2. Complete your nominee’s details
  3. Drop off or post to Manly Environment Centre at 41 Belgrave St, Manly NSW 2095 or email to


Nominations close at 5pm on Friday Feb 20.


Manly Lagoon's wildlife came out to shake their tail feathers on World Wetlands Day on Sunday. 

Louise Egerton - wildlife educator, author of Know Your Birds and blogger at - led an early morning walk around the edge of the lagoon. Fifteen well-equipped participants spotted an array of birds, including - the white ibis, the gorgeous chestnut teal and dusky moorhens putting on a show. 

AustralianWhiteIbis ChestnutTeal DuskyMoorhenSmall DuskyMoorhenFightSmall

Then there were -  glorious rainbow lorikeets, a statuesque great cormorant and elegant Pacific black ducks. 

RainbowLorikeetSmall GreatCormorantSmall PacificBlackDuck 

Also in the lagoons backwaters - shiny purple swamphens, pretty magpie larks, noisy miners and elegant wood ducks.

 PurpleSwamphenSmall MagpieLark NoisyMinerSmall woodDuckSmall IbisTree

Where were we? Walking along the north edge of Manly Lagoon, starting from Mill Park. Not shown on Google, but there's a thin little park behind the houses.  


Fabulous bird photos by Reg Gibson. Lots more at Reg Gibson Photos.  


Manly's 21st Ocean Care Day started with blue skies and ended suddently with a thunderstorm that tried to sweep everything into the sea. 

The festival kicked off with the lively samba beat of Brazilian-inspired percussion band Bateria 61. They led the Marine Parade of sharks, jellyfish, penguins and more, which wound its way along the oceanfront from the surf club to the Corso centre stage. 


The day was officially opened by Manly Mayor Jean Hay and GM Henry Wong. 

The keynote talk, from UTS marine biologist and photographer Prof Bill Gladstone, was on the importance of sharks to healthy ecosystems.  It brought into focus one of today's hugely-controversial issues - shark-culling and swimmer and surfer safety in the ocean - and the theme of the festival - Healthy Oceans Need Sharks

After that, people were free to enjoy the art tent, eco stalls and local music lineup. 

The Weaving Bridges Project whales were a big hit. So were perennial favourites like the Penguin Pavilion and the sea creatures "touch" pool, as well as new-comers Beardson. 

View photo album  And check out #Fins4Fins at Manly Youth Centre

Left: Start of the Marine Parade. Below: Shark fin; Nemo & Net in the parade; the Penguin Pavilion; the Art Tent; #beardson and Bateria 61 & Save Our Sharks 2.



 Manly Environment Centre, in conunction with Manly Community Centre celebrates the 2013 Manly Arts Festival. Ride your bike to the "cycle" art exhibition and be rewarded with a small gift if you come in wearing or carrying your helmet. En Plein artists, inspired by their day painting at the Bike Life Festival, will be exhibiting their artworks over three days - meet the artists behind the artworks. Artists include Nicole Ballingall, Rachel Carroll, Alicia Poppett and David Wiggs. Meet the artsits. All artworks for sale


Where: Manly Community Centre, 12 Wentworth Centre, 12 Wentowrth Street, Manly

When: Friday 27 - Sun 29 September, 11am - 4pm.

Contact: 99761426,

Wednesday, 11 September 2013 09:57

Friends of Cabbage Tree Bay

We're looking for Volunteers

 Manly Council in partnership with Fisheries NSW has established a volunteer group for Cabbage Tree Bay No Take Aquatic Reserve. 

The purpose of the group is to: -

  • educate visitors about the biodiversity of Cabbage Tree Bay and the importance of preserving and protecting this biodiversity,
  • increase public awareness of conservation issues within the reserve, and 
  • provide visitor information services which encourages appreciation of the reserves values. 
  • There are two levels of membership to the group. Sign up to be a Friend’ of Cabbage Tree Bay by simply providing your email address. As a Friend you’ll receive electronic newsletters and be kept informed about the Bay and the group’s activities and events. 


    Alternatively you can sign up to be a Friends’ of Cabbage Tree Bay ‘Volunteer’. 

    Volunteers are required to commit to minimum 2.5 hour shift per month on a Saturday or Sunday, throughout the year. Activities undertaken by the volunteers includes interacting with members of the public, educating visitors about the biodiversity of Cabbage Tree Bay and the importance of preserving and protecting this biodiversity, attend Enrichment Program morning teas to learn more about this amazing marine environment with expert speakers in their field, participate in a couple of Manly Council and Manly Environment Centre events to promote of activities of FOCTB volunteers, along with the the opportunity to enjoy social events with other volunteers. Volunteers must be prepared to commit to the above required hours, at locations around Cabbage Tree Bay as well as attendance at the required training sessions.

    I want to Sign up to volunteer - What should I do next? 

    Contact Manly Environment Centre Project Officer - Robynne Millward to arrange an interview. Once you have had your interview and completed your application form, if successful, you will then undergo a Volunteer Induction with Manly Council and be required to complete training about the reserve and the best ways to share information with visitors.


    The first group of volunteers started at Cabbage Tree Bay in early December 2012. 

    Friends of Cabbage Bay Volunteer Group won the Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Award for Community Actions & Partnerships in the Sustainable Cities Awards 2014.

    Thank you for your interest in Cabbage Tree Bay No Take Aquatic Reserve!

    For further information on becoming a ‘Friends of Cabbage Tree Bay’ volunteer 

    Contact: Robynne Millward:



    Event:  ‘Day at the Bay’

    Where: Cabbage Tree Bay No Take Aquatic Reserve, Shelly Beach, Manly

    When:  Sunday 21st April 2013

    Time:  10am – 4pm

    Join us for a fun and informative day at Sydney’s only ‘No Take Aquatic Reserve’. The Manly Environment Centre is inviting children, parents and friends to Shelly Beach on Sunday, April 21st, 10.00am - 4.00pm to celebrate our marine environment in Cabbage Tree Bay No Take Aquatic Reserve.  The launch will start with a smoking ceremony. Budding artists can create a poster portraying the colourful marine life of Cabbage Tree Bay. Join in on guided walks, marine talks, snorkelling tours, ‘Splash for Species’ (BYO snorkel and mask), Stand up Paddle and live music. Become ‘A Friend of Cabbage Tree Bay’ or join up to volunteer. Two Hands Project will run a quick beach cleanup with a chance to win a double Kayak Hire.

    Last modified on Thursday, 04 July 2013 18:42

    Become a Manly Environment Centre Volunteer

    With a dedicated army of unpaid volunteers, we work in partnership with local residents and Manly Council. The emphasis is on teamwork and cooperation. We want our home and the world to be clean, green and vibrant. This is a unique opportunity for those looking for practical experience in the environmental industry. MEC is recognised by the Department of Education, national and international universities, Northside Community Connect, Northern Beaches Business Education Network Inc and Professional Pathways Australia.

    What do MEC volunteers do?

    The duties of MEC volunteers are consistent with the functions of the MEC, i.e. information and resources, environmental education, advocacy, research, and events. Some of the duties and tasks carried out by volunteers in the MEC are ongoing. These tasks require permanent volunteers throughout the year; this includes duties related to information and resources, and administration duties. Other duties come up periodically, or on an as needed basis: this includes assistance with education projects or event preparation. These specific projects may be for a fixed period only. Some volunteers assist with many different projects in their time as a volunteer at the MEC. Discover new skills, gain experience, meet new people and volunteer in a rewarding, flexible environment!

    For more information, or to register as a volunteer email:

    Volunteering... is good for your CV!
    Volunteering... is good for your soul!
    Volunteering... makes a difference!

    A Guringai Festival Event - June 25th – July 15th

    To celebrate Guringai Festival 2013, a collaborative project was conceived between Manly Community Centre; Lotte Conradi, community creative; Manly Environment Centre; Warringah Council along with Northern Beaches Aboriginal community members to engage community groups and individuals.

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