It won’t be too long now when we will be explaining to newcomers in our town. How Casuarina beach got its name.
Well ok I don’t actually know who named it, and my capacity for research today is limited, so I’ll get to the point.
In the past 20 odd years I’ve been in Darwin. (Yes.. odd in many ways). I’ve observed what I would say is the rapid decline of its coastal environment and the massive erosion alonhthe intertidal zone.
There is a wonderfull buffer between land and sea on the Darwin coast line. It consists of incredibly resilient populations of mangroves and other coastal species.
Casuarina forests have existed in the sandy dunes between the high water mark and the claystone cliffs. They have survived in a gentle balance between sea and land. Sadly over the past five years I’d say nearly half of the trees that were once there are now gone!
Fires destroyed a whole Forrest between Casuarina beach and Lee point a couple of years ago. It was tragic and preventable.
The big issue though is coastal erosion! Trees are toppling into the sea as the sea slowly creeps inland. Swallowing soil and vegetation as it goes. There is no stopping it!
Lee point has always hosted Aboriginal families, I am sure Larrakia would have camped here from time to time, these days it’s family groups from other regions. Long grassers, enjoying the freedom of life on the beach. Camping illegally in the reserve.
It’s true they do make a bit of mess, with discarded tins and plastic blowing around, but I’ve never seen a single living tree killed in the long grass camp at led point. They come, they stay a while, they leave, the habitat returns. No big deal…
The rule is no camping under the trees on the foreshore, I guess they won’t need that rule much longer…
I see this stuff and am reminded of the title of the book, Poor fellow my country’s by Xavier Herbert’s .
Poor Fella indeed