Connector Newsletter Issue 35

Protecting the Ramsar Values of Western Port

October 13, 2022

By Stephen Brend, Biosphere Foundation Project Officer

We are delighted that our collaboration with the Catchment Management Authority, now a part of Melbourne Water, continues.  The CMA funded our project investigating the impact of recreational fishing on migratory shorebirds and the local environment.  This project successfully concluded last year.  However, there is still more to do which is why we are delighted Melbourne Water has agreed to another three year “Ramsar values enhancement project”.

We will focus on community engagement, with “community” encompassing many groups – from visiting anglers to local residents.  Everyone is familiar with Western Port’s two big islands; Phillip (Millowl) and French but there are also two other smaller islands in North Western Port: Quail and Chinaman’s.  Quail Island has had Southern Brown Bandicoots on it.  We would love to collaborate on trying to make it predator free.  Spartina (cord grass) is a highly invasive weed which can rapidly colonise mud flats.  This would rob our all-so-important migratory waders of a key resource, so we will be monitoring that as well.  Obviously, the Ramsar habitats of Western Port also represent the bay’s blue carbon stocks which dovetails with our Blue Carbon project.  As we said, there’s lots to do.

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