The Andrews Labor Government is supporting an Australian first underwater recovery program to restore critically endangered shellfish reefs and improve the health of Port Phillip Bay.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today headed out by boat on Hobsons Bay to see the reef restoration project in action.
Since 2015 the Nature Conservancy has restored 2.5 hectares of lost shellfish reefs – an area equivalent to the size of the MCG.
Divers have been placing millions of juvenile oysters or mussels on manually built beds of locally sourced limestone rock and recycled seafood shells from restaurants, at two main locations in Hobsons Bay and Geelong Arm.
The young shellfish settle, grow and attract other species to create a fully functioning shellfish reef which acts as a natural water filter, keeping our coastal waters clean while also providing protection from coastal erosion.
The Labor Government has contributed $1.1 million to the project through the Port Phillip Bay Fund and Biodiversity 2037.
The Port Phillip Bay Fund was established to help volunteer-based community and environmental groups protect the Bay and has so far delivered $8.4 million to 102 programs.
Port Phillip Bay provides valuable habitat for more than 10,000 marine plant and animal species as well as supporting recreational fishing and tourism.
The Government is working to address key pressures on the health of the bay due to climate change and population growth, ensuring it remains healthy and resilient.
As stated by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“We’re proud to be supporting such an innovative project, which is restoring the health of the bay not only for our precious marine life but for all Victorians.”
“Port Phillip Bay is one of our most important ecosystems and through projects like this, we’re protecting and restoring it.”
“We’re investing $10 million over four years to protect this iconic coastline for generations to come.”