Improving hydrology at The Spit Nature Conservation Reserve

24 August 2021

The Spit Nature Conservation Reserve is a 678 hectare reserve managed by Parks Victoria. It is home to one of the most important areas of saltmarsh vegetation in Victoria. The site also lies within the internationally-significant Port Phillip Bay (western shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar site, and is home to an abundance of native wildlife, including rare and threatened species.

The Port Phillip & Westernport CMA, through the Two Great Ramsar Wetlands project, has been working with Parks Victoria, Nature Glenelg Trust, and Melbourne Water to better understand the hydrology that influences The Spit Nature Conservation Reserve.

In 2019, a hydrological study was undertaken and provided recommendations. As a result of this study, in late 2019, a series of stoplogs were removed from a road culvert at a sixty hectare section of The Spit, west of the 29 Mile Road near Point Wilson. The aim was to improve tidal and surface flows from entering and exiting the site.

Less than 12 months on, the results from this change have been outstanding. The saltmarsh vegetation community is thriving under this new water-regime, and waterbirds and shorebirds are utilizing the site in large numbers.

Over the next 12 months, the PPWCMA will continue to collaborate with key stakeholders to implement a range of management options outlined in the hydrological study to further enhance The Spit’s ecological values.

The Two Great Ramsar Wetlands project supported by the PPWCMA through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Images by Andrew Morrison.