Method to assess marine waters in Port Phillip Bay
This method measures the condition of water quality by assessing the attainment of State Environmental Protection Policy (SEPP) objectives each calendar year. The attainment of SEPP objectives is deemed to show that the beneficial uses which the community expects from fresh and marine waters have been protected. Beneficial uses of the waters in Port Phillip Bay and Western Port include the maintenance of marine ecosystems, contact recreation and commercial fishing. SEPP objectives set maximum and/or minimum levels for a selected range of physio-chemical, nutrient and metal contaminants and conditions which pollute or impact freshwater and marine environments.
The evaluations for this report are made using data provided by EPA Victoria from its Fixed Site Water Quality Monitoring program. This program monitors water quality in Port Phillip Bay and Western Port. This assessment uses water quality data collected at each monitoring site on every monitoring occasion during a given year. Data from the Fixed Site Water Quality Monitoring program is assessed at the end of each year to determine the percentage attainment of SEPP objectives for the previous twelve months.
This method has been used to determine the current condition of marine water quality (Condition) and targets for the future (Targets). Lead organisations are committed to achieving these targets (Leadership) and arrangements are in place to monitor and report on progress and success (Monitoring and Reporting).