Bass Coast Shire Council has undertaken further restoration works on the Cowes West foreshore, in response to Crown Land encroachment.
This revegetation is part of Council’s Encroachment Program, which focuses on rehabilitating public land sites. In many of these cases, the original coastal vegetation was cleared many decades ago and has since been maintained as grassed areas.
The large site at Cowes West has now been transformed with the planting of almost 2000 indigenous plants. Once established, this vegetation will help to enhance biodiversity and return the landscape to what it once was.
Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan said that Council is committed to restoring coastal vegetation where encroachment into Crown Land has occurred.
“Unfortunately, due to various reasons including illegal clearing activities, the quality and extent of our coastal vegetation has been significantly reduced, with only about 14 per cent remaining,” Cr Whelan said.
“Coastline areas are often more prone to the effects of climate change and vegetation is vital in protecting these areas from storm fronts.”
Vegetation supports a number of ecological services, including provision of habitat for native animals and increasing the resilience of landscapes in a changing climate.
In response to ongoing encroachment activities and community feedback, in 2018 Council adopted the Foreshore and Bushland Reserves Encroachment Policy, to provide long-term strategic direction to manage ongoing encroachment issues.