Glenelg Estuary and Discovery Bay has been nominated for a Ramsar listing – an acknowledgement of the significance of this stunning site to the region.
Minister for Water Lisa Neville endorsed the nomination, which has been submitted to the Federal Government for consideration.
Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance listed by Australia under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Victoria currently has 11 Ramsar-listed sites.
The proposed new Ramsar site is located near the Victorian-South Australian border and covers approximately 22,300 hectares, including part of the Lower Glenelg National Park, Discovery Bay Coastal Park and the Nelson Streamside Reserve.
The Glenelg Estuary and Discovery Bay site meets five of the required Ramsar criteria by supporting unique wetlands, providing habitat for 95 birds, with 24 species migrating from Russia and China.
The site is home to threatened plants and animal species, and provides habitat for fish, such as black bream and estuary perch.
The site has three main systems including the freshwater wetlands of Long Swamp, Bridgewater Lakes and Swan Lake, the Glenelg Estuary, Oxbow Lake and the dune fields, as well as beach along 50 kilometres of the Discovery Bay Coastal Park.
The nomination and documentation is now with the Commonwealth Minister for Environment and Energy with a request from Minister Neville to consider the Glenelg Estuary and Discovery Bay site for Ramsar listing.
As part of the nomination process, Glenelg Hopkins CMA coordinated extensive consultation that included local landholders, government agencies, Coastcare and Traditional Owners.
Parks Victoria is the land manager and has been very supportive of the proposed Ramsar listing and the international recognition and tourism opportunities it will bring the region.
The Gunditjmara people are one of the primary guardians, keepers and knowledge holders of Aboriginal cultural heritage of the area, and provided information on cultural values and a statement illustrating the importance of this site to support the nomination.
Quote attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“I’m really proud to endorse this site for Ramsar listing – it will mean that this wonderful sanctuary will be internationally recognised and protected for future generations.”
Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney
“These wetlands are an iconic treasure to the region and provide benefits for the community and visitors, including recreation, birdwatching and education.”