Regional Catchment Strategy

The Port Phillip and Western Port region is home to more than five million people and includes urban Melbourne, growth centres on the urban fringe, highly productive farming, forested parks and ranges, and a network of rivers, wetlands and estuaries which flow to our two valuable bays Port Phillip Bay and Western Port.

The region faces numerous, complex challenges including climate change, increasing urbanisation and population growth, and loss of biodiversity.

The Port Phillip and Western Port Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS) is the overarching plan for how land, water and biodiversity is protected and enahcned across the Port Phillip and Western Port region.

The strategy broadly describes how land, water and biodiversity is managed across the region, highlights the connections between them, and identifies targets for the future health and resilience of the region’s environment. The strategy is intended to foster integration, efficiency and effectiveness in land, water and biodiversity management in the region.

Its development and coordination is managed by the PPWCMA in collaboration with Traditional Owners and regional agencies, organisations, groups and communities.

This RCS was originally managed by the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA. The Port Phillip & Westernport CMA is integrating into Melbourne Water on 1 January 2022 and from this date Melbourne Water will be the coordinating agency. 

Port Phillip and Western Port Regional Catchment Strategy 2021-27

The RCS has been published three times, in 1997, 2004 and 2014. This fourth edition builds on 25 years of learning and experience in supporting collaborative achievement by councils, government agencies, public utilities, community organisations, businesses, farmers, landholders and citizens.

A working draft of the strategy was developed throughout 2020 and 2021 in consultation with key stakeholder organisations including Traditional Owners, government agencies and authorities, municipal councils, non-government organisations and community networks.

Research and consultations focused on making sure the draft met government guidelines and provided a complete account of the policies and plans most relevant to natural resource management in this region.

Update: Draft Regional Catchment Strategy submitted for government consideration and approval

The Port Phillip and Western Port Regional Catchment Strategy is presented as a website and the draft can be viewed at