Marine environment

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Introduction

Corangamite’s coastal waters stretch from west of Peterborough, around Cape Otway, along the Surf Coast, through Port Phillip Heads and around Corio Bay nearly to Point Wilson in the east. There are three Marine National Parks in the region, these being Port Phillip Heads, Point Addis and Twelve Apostles Marine National Parks. Parts of the Corangamite marine environment are also classified as Ramsar wetlands as part of the Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine site which includes Point Lilias, Limeburners Bay, Swan Bay and Mud Islands.

A healthy marine and coastal environment is biodiverse and dynamic. It contains functioning biological, physical and chemical interactions that support the local environment’s many and varied plants and animals. It is able to operate as a dynamic, constantly changing system.

Ecosystems are in a constant state of flux in response to processes like changing sea and air temperature, nutrient flows and ocean currents. A healthy marine and coastal environment can also be defined by its ability to sustain both its intrinsic value (the value it has in itself regardless of its value to humans) as well as the full range of environmental, social, cultural and economic values that benefit the Corangamite community.

The Marine and Coastal Act 2019 along with the Marine and Coastal Policy provide the overarching statutory and policy frameworks for the management of the region’s marine and coastal environments. The Marine and Coastal Strategy is currently being developed which will identify key actions and responsibilities for the delivery of the Marine and Coastal Policy.

Wadawurrung Healthy Country Plan says “We see our Dja land and Warre sea Country as all one but we have highlighted it hear as it needs some real help. For us it is full of resources, favourite foods and living places along our coast that show how the seas provide so plentifully for generations of Wadawurrung. Fishing, diving, harvesting from the rocky and intertidal reefs”.