Glenelg Estuary and Discovery Bay has been approved for listing as the state’s 12th Ramsar site – an international accolade that will ensure this important wetland is protected into the future.
Minister for Water Lisa Neville said the listing was a great accomplishment of local agencies and communities that have invested in the conservation of the site.
Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance listed by Australia under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The listing was confirmed on 29 March, following a nomination submitted to the Commonwealth in November last year.
The area listed stretching more than 22,000 hectares and includes part of the Lower Glenelg National Park, Discovery Bay Coastal Park and the Nelson Streamside Reserve. It is known for its rare dunes that home a variety of threatened species including plants, waterbirds and fish.
The Labor Government has provided around $215,000 to help manage the site over the next three years, through the $222 million Water for Victoria initiative to improve the health of waterways and catchments across regional Victoria.
The site meets five of the required Ramsar criteria by supporting unique wetlands and providing habitat for 95 birds – with 24 species migrating from Russia and China.
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.
Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority conducted extensive consultation that included local landholders, government agencies, Nelson 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 supported the nomination by providing information on cultural values.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“This listing of this important site is great news for Victoria and will mean this wonderful sanctuary will be internationally recognised and protected for future generations.”
“We’re focused on improving the health of this magnificent wetland and its local wildlife and protecting our waterways and catchments.”
Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney
“This is a great outcome for an iconic waterway that will recognise and protect the site for future generations.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020