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Extract: The Gold Coast beaches are, of course, the key interface between the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of the city. The fine- textured golden sands are one of the possible reasons for the city's name. Prior to European settlement, the beaches were a source of seafood for the indigenous people. A favourite food was the pipi (or eugary); there were also oysters, mud crabs and sea mullet during winter when the schools ran. Before the sand miners took their toll, midden heaps of pipi and oyster shells were common at places where the local people gathered to feast.
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