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2014 Winner - Cleaner Yarra and Bay

Port Phillip EcoCentre

Life Support for the Bay

Life Support for the Bay is Port Phillip EcoCentre’s call to the Melbourne community to be more aware of the critical relationship between local catchments and Port Phillip Bay.

The Port Phillip EcoCentre is a place where environmental solutions are hatched and nurtured. A not-for-profit, community-managed, environment group, the EcoCentre provides a base for a number of affiliate groups involved in activities that promote biodiversity, environmental sustainability and community action.

The EcoCentre understands that the choices people make in waste disposal, transport options, horticultural practices, pet waste and energy use have an incremental effect on waterways. Litter is a pervasive issue that anyone can do something about.

Life Support for the Bay focuses on building relationships with people and organisations to promote systematic collection and analysis of smaller pollutants (microplastics and cigarette butts), providing evidence of their prevalence and ecological impact.

This action research on microplastics and cigarette butts has drawn attention to the consequences of polluting behaviour and helps the public to see the ecological impact of litter instead of just seeing it as an aesthetic issue.

A positive community approach has been the key to engaging community groups, schools and sporting clubs to undertake surveys and collection. This approach protects the bay and provides information on littering behaviour and polluting, making it clearer how everyone can make the whole system of catchments and the bay healthier.