DRAFT - Submitted to Minister for government consideration

Values of our coasts

This region has more than 600 kilometres of coast fronting Port Phillip Bay, Western Port and Bass Strait.

Coastal environments are the interface between marine and terrestrial ecosystems and are vital to their productivity, health and resilience. They are highly valued economically, hold significant geological and cultural sites and are visited by millions of people annually for a range of recreational activities.

Development along coasts, especially on Port Phillip Bay, has been extensive. Half of the 50 vegetation types on the region’s coasts are endangered. The coastal zone is now thin in many areas and the environmental values are diminished. Weeds, pest animals, habitat destruction and fragmentation are major threats to the environmental values along much of this coast.

Some coastal areas could be submerged by 2100 if sea level rises. More frequent storm surges would exacerbate coastal erosion and salinity impacts on coastal ecosystems, infrastructure and aquifers.