The Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan 2017–2027 (EMP) represents the Victorian Government’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that Port Phillip Bay remains healthy and resilient over the coming decade.

This Plan is authorised under the Marine and Coastal Act 2018 and the State Environment Protection Policy (Waters) 2018 and sets out priority goals and actions for achieving environmental targets and beneficial use objectives.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) in partnership with Melbourne Water and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria coordinated the development of the EMP over a two and half-year period. Community and stakeholder groups had a significant contribution to the Plan's development. Their input and knowledge helped to shape the vision and long-term aspirations, goals, priority areas and actions identified in the Plan.

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View the summary

Goals of the Environmental Management Plan

Port Phillip Bay offers a vast array of social, economic and environmental values to visitors and those who live and work around the Bay and its surrounding catchment.

The EMP's vision of 'a healthy Port Phillip Bay that is valued and cared for by all Victorians', and the following three main goals will guide future action and investment over the next 10 years:

  • Stewardship of the Bay is fostered across community, industry and government.
  • Water quality is improved to ensure environmental health and community enjoyment of the Bay.
  • The Bay's habitats and marine life are thriving.

Implementing the Plan

Priority actions to deliver the EMP began in late 2017 and will be implemented over ten years following an adaptive management approach.

A number of activities are being aligned to, and/or directly delivered by, complementary regional plans and strategies, such as:

A Delivery Plan with annual reporting, and two future 5-yearly evaluation reports, will ensure that the EMP’s activities remain focused and aligned to the priority actions identified. Governance arrangements have been set up to ensure those interested across government, industry and the community can continue being involved in the implementation of the EMP.

The Delivery Plan outlines how the EMP will be implemented including details on specific activities, program leads & partners, delivery timelines and expected outputs. The first annual report to provide a progress update of the Delivery Plan was finalised January 2020.

DELWP have committed to develop a Marine Knowledge Framework as one of the actions within the Delivery Plan to support and guide evaluation of the EMP. The development of the Marine Knowledge Framework is also in response to a critical recommendation within the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Victoria’s State of the Bays 2016 report and more recently their updated 2017 report released in early-2018. The Marine Knowledge Framework will encompass all marine environments across the state, not just Port Phillip Bay. Progress on this activity will be provided in the annual reporting of the EMP.

For more information on the State of the Bays reports, visit the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Victoria's website.

Progress so far

Yearly updates on the progress of, and activities listed in, the Delivery Plan are prepared by the cross-agency Working Group and the Project Officer Group who manage or deliver activities. These updates are endorsed by the Project Control Group and are fed into the annual report.

The 2019-2020 Annual Report and 2020 Delivery Plan Update is the second annual report and Delivery Plan update, evaluating year two of the EMP. For the first time, the Annual Report and Delivery Plan Update is accompanied by an interactive StoryMap. The case studies included in the StoryMap feature guided video tours of LitterWatch and the EMP theme on CoastKit.

Port Phillip Bay Fund

The Port Phillip Bay Fund is a grants program that supports projects by community groups and organisations who work to protect and preserve the environmental health of Port Phillip Bay and its catchment.

For further details on the Fund, go to the Port Phillip Bay Fund page.

More Information

For more information on the Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan 2017-2027, follow us on Facebook or Twitter #healthofthebay

For any specific queries, please email

Or view:
PPB Environmental Management Plan Supporting Document (PDF, 7.1 MB)
PPB Environmental Management Plan Consultation Summary (PDF, 575.8 KB)
PPB Environmental Management Plan Summary (large A3 version) (PDF, 435.5 KB)

For more on the values of Victoria's marine environments please view the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council's Assessment of the Values of Victoria's Marine Environment report.

Page last updated: 06/08/21