Westernport Bay covers 270 square kilometres, is relatively shallow and contains extensive areas of saltmarsh/mangrove and seagrass communities. Churchill Island Marine National Park, French Island Marine National Park and Yaringa Marine National Park are included within the Bay area.
Westernport Bay is also important for its faunal populations. Phillip Island and French Island have significant wildlife populations. The entire bay area north and east of Phillip Island (see map PDF) is a Ramsar site.
Management and planning of its cultural, biodiversity, economic and heritage features, along with the impact of development, commercial activities, recreation and tourism involves a number of departments, agencies, regional and local bodies. Maps identifying management and planning bodies, as well as key features of the Westernport Bay Region are included in the Coastlinks Westernport Interactive Map.
· Vegetation Communities (Department of Sustainability and Environment)
· Westernport (Parks Victoria)
Better Bays and Waterways (Environment Protection Authority)
Better Bays and Waterways (Melbourne Water)
· Guide to the Bays (Parks Victoria)
· Coolart Wetlands and Homestead Reserve Future Directions Plan (Parks Victoria)
· Westernport Explorer - Classroom on the Sea (South East Water)
The 145 km coastline comprises significant stands of saltmarsh and mangroves on the mudflats and is bounded on the north shore by the French Island Marine National Park.
French Island is rich in flora and faunal diversity. Nearly 600 plant species have been identified along with over 230 bird species, including many migratory species. Especially notable are short-tailed shearwater colonies, pelican and ibis rookeries, a large koala community and a population of potoroos.
Island National Park Management Plan (Parks Victoria)
Recreation activities are very popular and include swimming and surfing, nature walks, bird watching and ferry cruises.
Historical Churchill Island is connected to Phillip Island by bridge.
· Biodiversity Action Planning - Phillip Island Landscape Zone -
· Phillip Island (Visit Victoria)
· Churchill Island (Phillip Island Nature Park)
· Churchill Island Marine National Park (Parks Victoria)
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Page last reviewed - 26 October 2010