INTERNATIONALLY significant wetlands around Western Port Bay are being protected thanks to a $20,000 contribution from South East Water.
The money will aid the Ramsar Protection Program which lists the wetlands, pictured, as being of international importance. It will help reduce threats through the control and eradication of feral cats, foxes, rabbits and goats, and remove invasive weeds, such as African Boxthorn and Spartina.
The wetlands are important feeding grounds and nurseries for various plant and bird species. A number of Indigenous cultural heritage sites also sit along the Western Port shoreline.
Since 2010, the Ramsar Protection Program has been a key conservation and protection project for the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority.
South East Water supports the authority and partner organisations, such as Bass Coast Landcare Network and the City of Casey to protect key areas, including Jam Jerrup (south of Lang Lang), and Blind Bight. Help is needed here to control predators, such as foxes, from threatening nesting and roosting shore and water birds, and herbivore control to reduce the damage caused by rabbits to habitat and threatened ecological communities (coastal saltmarsh).
Blind Bight is near South East Water’s Blind Bight water recycling plant.
South East Water’s Charlie Littlefair recognised the importance of the program in managing the health and liveability of the wetlands and the species that depended on them. “We believe in creating a better world through our actions to support communities and enable better health and environmental outcomes,” he said.
“We’re proud to be contributing to the protection and enhancement of our region’s land, water, and biodiversity.”
First published in the Western Port News – 23 June 2021