Week 3: Information series for the State of the Marine and Coastal Environment 2021 Report
The Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability is exploring the themes from Victoria’s first State of the Marine and Coastal Environment 2021 Report, over nine weeks.
This week we are highlighting litter and pollution in relation to marine and coasts here in Victoria.
Our State of the Marine and Coastal Environment 2021 Report shines a light on the health of our marine and coastal environments to inform investment in marine and coastal science.
The Commissioner Dr Gillian Sparkes AM said “The report reinforces the need for a catchment to reefs approach to our policy and program interventions including litter and pollution management, to protect and improve Victoria’s coastal and marine environments”.
“The number of litter items and microplastics flowing into Port Phillip Bay from the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers each year is estimated at more than 2.5 billion.”
The data shows that about 85% of litter are microplastics and that industrial precincts were responsible for a large majority of microplastics in Port Phillip Bay.
The State of the Marine and Coastal Environment 2021 Report identifies that no specific analyses of litter and plastics have occurred in Western Port, Corner Inlet and Nooramunga, or the Gippsland Lakes.
The coastal air quality indicator in this report is believed to be the first instance of focused coastal air quality reporting in Australia.
Coastal air quality findings include:
- Port Phillip Bay air quality is generally good. However, focused research on air quality near shipping terminals using lower-quality air monitoring sensors provides evidence of poor air quality, due to high concentrations of fine particle pollution near Station Pier.
- Regionally, bushfire smoke has been measured at levels significantly higher than health-based standards. Air quality at Gippsland Lakes was closely monitored during the 2019–20 bushfire season during which time the daily air quality standard PM2.5 was frequently breached.
Our State of the Marine and Coastal Environment 2021 Report information series explores a range of other topics including coastal settlements, significant landscapes, cultural heritage, tourism, agriculture, coastal infrastructure and energy generation.
You can discover more on our interpretive website for the State of the Marine and Coastal Environment 2021 Report, and dive into our case studies which explore a range of topics.
- View the Litter and pollution chapter of the report to find out more.
- We have a range of case studies touching on litter and pollution:
o Marine Mammal Foundation’s Marine Litter Project in Gippsland Lakes
o Clean Bay Blueprint: Microplastics in Melbourne