The Regional Catchment Strategy for the Port Phillip & Western Port region

Click here to go to the interactive map and explore Port Phillip and Western Port layersOver 600 kilometres of coast surround Western Port and Port Phillip Bay.  Their environments include:

  • Bay and ocean beaches
  • Sand, rock, mangrove and cliff
  • Public land, private land and different land uses
  • Places of significant environmental value such as Ramsar sites
  • Places of significant social value such as recreational beaches.

Coastal environments are the interface between marine and terrestrial ecosystems and are vital to their productivity, health and resilience.  They are highly valued socially and economically.

The current environmental condition of the region’s coasts is variable.  Some areas retain high environmental values while many others have been heavily modified by urban development, coastal settlement and recreational use.

In developing this Regional Catchment Strategy, the region’s coast has been divided into 14 zones.  The zones are delineated by significant changes in coastal characteristics and/or environmental values and where it is sensible to attach tailored environmental targets.  The zones can be viewed on the Interactive Map.

The strategy seeks to maintain, as much as is practicable, the environmental values of the coasts around the region. The priority, reflected in the targets, is to at least maintain the current extent and quality of native vegetation in each of the 14 coastal zones.

A range of pressures, including continued coastal development and incursions from pest plants and animals will need to be addressed to achieve these targets.  Four-and-a-half million residents live in the Port Phillip & Western Port region and the population is projected to grow to 6.3 million by 2031 and to almost eight million by 2051 (Source: Central Regional Coastal Plan 2015-2021).

The population pressures and associated demands for coastal space and services place pressures on the achievement of the Regional Catchment Strategy’s targets for coastal environmental condition. In addition, they will be compounded by climate change effects – rising sea levels and storm surge risks, reduced rainfall and higher temperatures.

A method has been used to determine the current condition of coasts (Method and Condition) and targets have been set for the future (Targets).  Lead organisations are committed to achieving these targets (Leadership).  Targets and leadership arrangements will be determined in consultation with relevant departments, agencies and delegated land managers.  Arrangements are in place to monitor and report on progress and success (Monitoring and Reporting).