Environmental Health


A number of scientific studies and reviews have reported on the condition and threats to Western Port and these provide an excellent bench mark for measuring change.


Western Port Bay Environmental Study – Shapiro, M.A. 1975. (original study)
The Western Port Marine Environment – EPA Publication 493 1996 (review).
Seagrasses in Western Port (EPA) – Publication 588 – October 1997
Seagrass Mapping – Western Port (DPI) – March 2001 (new & review)
Mangroves and Saltmarshes in Westernport Bay – Robyn Ross – DSE June 2000  (review)


  • Western Port River Management Study – MWC 1986
  • Environmental Health of Streams in WP Catchment – EPA Publication 600 1998.
  • Health of Waterways Within PP & WP Catchments – MWC Series starting 1995 / 1996.

NB: We hope to provide links to digitized versions of these reports in the future.


Numerous organizations currently monitor various aspects of the environment and the status of biological communities.

Overview – Catchment and Bay

Melbourne Environment Report 2007  (PP&W CMA) – This is an excellent summary of key catchment and coast condition parameters for the Port Phillip and Western Port Region. It draws on data from several major agencies, and providing the community with one stop data access. The following parameters are reported upon:

  • Extent of Native Vegetation
  • Health of Rivers
  • Groundwater Supply
  • Quality of Water in Rivers & Bays
  • Environmental Condition of Parks
  • Strength of Environmental Community Groups

Water Quality


Waterway condition in the Westernport catchment and western Mornington Peninsula (Melbourne Water) – Provides status reports on health of streams and planned programs to improve health

Water Quality Data & Reports – Victorian Water Resources Data Warehouse. A comprehensive data base of data for all regions of Victoria.


EPA Long Term Marine Fixed Site Monitoring Report – This monitoring shows long term trends, but is not currently available on-line. EPA advises that it will be making its marine monitoring data available through the Victorian Water Resources Data Warehouse in future.

Water Pollution Loads – joint EPA / MW project underway.

Beach & Estuary

Western Port Beach Water Quality Report (EPA)
Healthy Estuary Determinations
 – (EPA) (under development)


Terrestrial Flora

Native Vegetation: DSE & DPI have extensive data sets showing extent and nature of terrestrial vegetation which when compared to historic aerial photography and ongoing satellite imagery can provide condition and trend analysis. For a good overview of the Port Phillip and Western Port Region  – look at the Melbourne Environment Report 2007  (PP&W CMA).

Terrestrial Fauna

General – No known general survey
Endangered Species – Unkown.
Birds – WP Bird Surveys , Distribution of sea birds in WP

Marine Flora

Seagrass Condition Reports:

  • DPI has assessed seagrass extent at Rhyll on Phillip Island, Woolleys Beach on the west coast of Western Port and Chicory Lane on French Island. The monitoring methods of the project included aerial photography of sites and interpretation of changes for indications of growth and decline and sampling of seagrass for density.
  • Seagrass Mapping – Western Port (DPI)
  • Maps of Seagrass   (Part A) (DPI)
  • Maps of Seagrass (Part B) (DPI)
  • Historic Photos – (DPI)
  • WPSP Seagrass Replanting Trials – ongoing monitoring
  • Other Species: (No known reporting)
Coastal Flora

Mangrove Condition Reports – No known current monitoring reports. Also see Sediment Stabilisation in Western Port
Saltmarsh Condition Reports – No known current monitoring reports

Marine Fauna

General & Species Surveys
General – No known current general benchmark or monitoring reports
Dolphins – None apart from records and photos of sightings by Dolphin Research Institute
Seals – Unknown – Ref: Phillip Island Nature Parks
Fairy Penguins – Unknown – Refer: Phillip Island Nature Parks
Fish: Great Victorian Fish Count. http://www.reefwatchvic.asn.au/GVFC.htm

Marine Pests

Exotic Marine Pests in the Port of Hastings , Victoria – DSE – Currie & Crookes Dec 1997
Exotic Species Established in Western Port
 – DSE – Parry & Cohen October 2001