New fund to protect Port Phillip Bay gets moving
Port Phillip Bay is one of Melbourne’s most important ecosystems, home to a rich and diverse environment. There’s around 10,000 marine plant and animal species that live in Port Phillip Bay, making it one of Victoria’s most important ecosystems. In addition to providing valuable habitat, the Bay also supports recreational fishing and tourism, is the entrance to Australia's busiest port, and has over 3 million people living and working in the catchment area.
The Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Dr Gillian Sparkes, issued the first ever State of the Bays Report assessing the health of Port Phillip Bay and Western Port in 2016. Over 75% of Victoria’s population live around these two embayments. State of the Bays 2016 gives us a baseline on which to compare in the future. The full report can be found at: www.ces.vic.gov.au/sotb
Thirty six new projects were recently granted a portion of $10 million in round one of the Port Phillip Bay Fund with funded activities including reef restoration, dune stabilisation, water quality improvements and litter control.
The Fund was developed to protect the health of the Bay and the wider bay catchment area. The one- to three-year projects include activities to reduce pollution, enhance aquatic habitats, improve catchment health and increase community awareness of issues that impact the health of the Bay.
Applications for the second round of funding will open mid-2017, with the community encouraged to get involved and apply.
For more information on the Port Phillip Bay Fund and how to apply visit coastsandmarine.vic.gov.au/grants