Header: Baykeeper Impact

Baykeeper Impacts

The current Port Phillip Baykeeper has a history of advocating for the health of Port Phillip Bay for over 30 years.

During this time, the Port Phillip Baykeeper and Baykeeper program has: 

  • Founded organisations and community groups
    • Founding member of the St Kilda penguin study (1986)
    • Founding member of Earthcare St Kilda (1989)
    • Founding member of St Kilda Indigenous Nursery Cooperative (1992)
    • Founding director of Port Phillip EcoCentre (1998)
  • Had key policy wins for the health of the Bay
    • Developed plan for West Beach Natural History Project, subsequently approved by Council (1991)
    • Successfully advocated for the St Kilda Breakwater to be declared as a Cooperative Management Area for Wildlife (1992)
    • Influenced the development of the Victorian Government Litter Hotspots Program (2015)
    • Influenced the inclusion of microplastics analysis and tracking in litter monitoring by the Victorian EPA (2015)
    • Successfully advocated for the inclusion of plastic as a threat to waterway health in the Victorian State Environment Protection Policy (2018)
  • Engaged in science communication and presentations for the health of the Bay
    • Radio presenter on various community radio stations and the ABC (1985 to present) 
    • Presentations at various Bay forums and coastal management forums (1989 to present)
    • News bulletin interviews on commercial TV channels, particulary around the St Kilda penguins (1990s to present)
    • Represented City of St Kilda on Wildlife Cooperative Area Advisory Committee (1992)
    • Spokesperson for the Blue Wedges Coalition, campaigning against channel deepening in Port Phillip Bay (2005 - 2008)
    • Member of the Community Liasion Panel for the Port Phillip Bay Channel Deepening Project (2009)
    • Portrait exhibited in the Salon des Refusés (2019)
  • Pioneered citizen science throughout the Bay and its catchments
    • Designed beach litter audit methods (1980s)
    • Designed shoreline seashell survey methods as introduction to marine ecology (2007)
    • Designed cigarette butt litter audit methods (2011)
    • Initiated the first ever study of microplastics in the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers (2014), the first of its kind in Australia
    • Designed citizen science methods to record sand surface levels across beaches, and intertidal sandy seabed mollusc populations (2016)
    • Designed the first Street to Bay microplastic litter audit method to track marine plastics to their source on streets in catchments (2016)
    • Engaged young people in Baykeeper citizen science activities through the Be The RE-Generation Project, receiving a Community Impact Award from the Inner Eastern Local Learning and Employment Network, Victoria (IELLEN) (2016 - 2018)
  • Co-authored books and reports, and co-produced films
    • Produced Grow Your Own (1990s), a video guide on revegetation methods for schools
    • Co-author of Indigenous Plants of the Sandbelt (2003), the first comprehensive book of flora and natural history of the sandbelt region
    • Coordinated research and production of Country Connect - A Guide to Protection of Aboriginal Cultural Sites in Victoria (2010)
    • Coordinated research and production of Best Practice Guidelines to Removal of Northern Pacific Seastars in Port Phillip Bay(2010)
    • Co-produced the award-winning Baykeepers documentary on plastic in the bay (2014), which inspired the rapid growth of local chapters of Beach Patrol (from 3 local chapters to over 26)
    • Co-produced Little Bit of Litter (2017), a music video showcasing the effects of plastic pollution on the Bay
    • Co-author of Microplastics in the Maribyrnong and Yarra Rivers, Melbourne, Australia (2018), a scientific report on the first ever study of microplastics in these urban rivers
  • Received numerous individual accolades
    • Awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to community and environment (2005)
    • Awarded the Dame Phyllis Frost Clean Beaches Award (2012)
    • Awarded the Outstanding Individual Achievement Award from the Victorian Coastal Council (2014)
    • Awarded the Premier's Recognition Award for Sustainability for the Life Support for the Bay Project (2014)
    • Part of the EcoCentre team which has been received over five national and international awards for their work on the health of the Bay (2014 to present)

Boon Wurrung Foundation Logo The EcoCentre acknowledges the Kulin Nations, including the Yalukut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group, traditional owners of the land on which we are located. We pay respects to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Elder members of our multicultural community.