Port Phillip Bay Environmental Study

CSIRO / Melbourne Water


The Port Phillip Bay Environmental Study was a $12 million project that ran between 1992-96. The Study investigated Port Phillip Bay's ecology, physical processes, and nutrient and toxicant levels. It identified the sources, concentrations and dispersal of pollutants in the Bay. Importantly, it identified the critical nutrient load which the Bay can tolerate. A major element of the project was the development of a mathematical model of the physical and ecological processes occurring in the Bay.

Key findings from this summary report emphasised the impacts that stormwater has on water quality and the health of aquatic ecosystems. Subsequently the State Environment Protection Policy - waters of Victoria was amended to incorpoarte Schedule F6 (Waters of Port Phillip Bay). This required the development of a nutrient management plan with the aim of achieving a 1000 tonne nitrogen load reduction. To combat "at source' nitrogen loads from the greater Melbourne catchment, the Victorian Government in June 2000 launched the $22.5 Victorian Stormwater action plan to assist local government in implementing best practice stormwater management.