Recognising Port Phillip Bay as one of Victoria’s most precious natural assets, the Victorian Government is partnering with community organisations to address key issues impacting the Bay.

10,000 marine plant and animal species live in Port Phillip Bay, making it one of Melbourne’s most important ecosystems. In addition to providing valuable habitat, the Bay also supports recreational fishing and tourism, is the entrance to one of Australia's busiest ports, and has over 4.5 million people living and working in the catchment area.

The Fund supports long-term government strategies such as the Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan 2017-2027, Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037, and Victorians Volunteering for Nature – Environmental Volunteering Plan. These strategies, along with on-ground community action, are essential to addressing current and future threats to Port Phillip Bay.

Person crouched in an open field holding a tube stock to plant. Image from project PPBF6061.

2021-22 Port Phillip Bay Fund

The Victorian Government is providing $1.2 million for the 2021-22 Port Phillip Bay Fund round.

Grants up to $100,000 are available for innovative, large-scale projects and up to $25,000 for smaller projects that focus on conserving and protecting coastal habitats and the marine ecosystem.

Community groups, non-government organisations, research institutes, local councils, schools and youth groups can apply.

Applications closed Tuesday 15 March 2022.

If you have questions about the Port Phillip Bay Fund grant program, email our Port Phillip Bay Fund program team or phone our Customer Contact Centre on 136 186.

2020-21 Port Phillip Bay Fund

The 2021 Port Phillip Bay Fund provided nearly $1 million in grants to support 26 projects.


Project Name

Project Summary

Balcombe Estuary Reserves Group Mt Martha IncCollaborating to Protect Mount Martha's Vulnerable Coast Woodlands (EVC2)This project aims to increase the health and habitat of Mount Martha Foreshore and protect biodiversity values across priority areas through weed removal and revegetation works, thus enabling endemic species regeneration.
Bellarine Bayside Foreshore Committee of ManagementHabitat Restoration for the future of Bellarine Red-capped Plover Colonies.This project seeks to raise awareness, manage visitor impacts and improve the breeding habitat of red-capped plovers. The project will include, community engagement and education (workshops, fencing/signage); monitoring and data collection (banding, monitoring); and habitat improvement works (revegetation, weed control).
Bellarine Catchment NetworkCaring For Our Bays: Culturally Connected CommunitiesPartnering with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, this project aims to develop an education program that incorporates elements of traditional language, perspectives and values.
Capel Sounds Foreshores Committee of Management w/ Capel Sounds Educational Child Care Centre Children on the Bay: Foreshore Care, Education and Conservation ProjectThis project aims to foster cultural understanding and stewardship of the bay and foreshore in children from five educational providers whilst connecting to community groups.
Deakin UniversityProtecting cultural heritage and restoring a threatened ecosystem at Point LilliasWorking in partnership with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, alongside other organisations and volunteer groups, to carry out weed surveys and weed control actions (spraying and potentially mosaic cultural burning). This will protect a large cluster of cultural heritage sites and benefit native biodiversity.
Deakin UniversityRestoration of an urban coastal wetland informed through citizen science researchWith the help of local citizen scientists from Friends of Truganina Wetland, the Blue Carbon Lab will undertake a feasibility assessment of Truganina Swamp and subsequent restoration actions to optimize the recovery of saltmarsh habitat. An ongoing volunteer team will be developed to monitor the health of Truganina wetland and the restoration of Laverton Creek bank.
Deakin UniversitySaltmarsh restoration and monitoring utilising citizen scientistsThis project aims to use low-cost fencing to restore marginal farmland back to coastal wetlands, which benefits landowners and the wider community. The project activities undertaken will lead to a pilot study where citizen scientists, in combination with remote sensing methods will help to monitor a saltmarsh restoration project on the Ramsar listed wetlands of Swan Bay.
Deakin UniversityRevealing the habits of Port Phillip Bay’s iconic spider crabsUsing best practice application of citizen science, this project will investigate the ecological role of spider crabs and their aggregations within the Bay. Through community engagement and education, the project will increase the public’s custodianship of the bay’s unique environmental assets.
Frankston Beach AssociationFiocchi Ave Foreshore Revegetation ProjectThis project will rehabilitate approximately 3,700m2 of degraded coastal dune through weed removal and revegetation. New plantings will strengthen remnant flora stands, providing a contiguous corridor of vegetation for native fauna.
Hobsons Bay City CouncilCalcarenite dune woodland restorationImproving habitat of the Calcarenite Dune Woodland, coastal sedgeland, saltmarsh and coastal grassland vegetation communities through weed control works and revegetation.
Hobsons Bay City CouncilMigratory bird protection programReduce disturbance to migratory birds through improved and increased infrastructure (habitat fencing, signage, path works). Further revegetation and rehabilitation works will lead to improved habitat values and reduced coastal erosion.
Hobsons Bay City CouncilAltona Coastal Park woodland and saltmarsh restoration (Banksia junction)Funding will assist in directing people and their dogs away from the mudflats which are feeding areas for migratory and local wading/shorebirds. It will also work to improve and rehabilitate original vegetation types, including coastal woodland, and dry saltmarsh communities.
McCrae Homestead Coastal GroupProtecting McCrae's Coast Banksia WoodlandRemoval of woody weed species throughout Coast Banksia Woodland at McCrae foreshore between Bartels St and The Avenue.
Merri Creek Management Committee inc.Building up the banks at BrunswickThis project aims to stabilise the banks of the Merri Creek in strategic locations by re-establishing riparian groundstorey vegetation. Local community groups and tertiary students will be educated on ways they can maintain a healthy stream and bay system.
Mornington Environment Association w/ Friends of Beleura Cliff PathBeleura Cliff and Beach: re-vegetation, mycorrhizal fungi, heritage.This project plans to revegetate the Beleura Cliff and beach below with iconic Banksias and other threatened plants, carry out ericoid mycorrhizal fungi tests and work with Bunurong Land Council to acknowledge the cultural heritage on the cliff via signage.
Mount Eliza Association for Environmental Care w/ Friends of Williams Road Beach Reserve Further restoration of foreshore and vulnerable bay habitats: ongoing revegetation and education.Volunteer-led restoration activities, including strategic weed removal and midden protection works. Hands-on education sessions to train scouts in cultural heritage and indigenous habitat protection.
Nepean Conservation Group IncStewardship of the Bay: conserving coastal habitat - Portsea to RyeThe Nepean Conservation Group will work with the Mornington Peninsula Shire, volunteers, and contractors to conduct on-ground coastal bushland management works to remove woody weeds, scramblers and other ground weed species.
Port Phillip EcoCentreBay Protection: Community Rapid Response Task ForceNorthern Pacific sea stars (NPS) are a nationally significant marine pest and a significant threat to the marine ecosystems of Port Phillip Bay. This project will establish a cross-sectoral network to facilitate rapid community responses to pest outbreaks, and; activate and support Victorians in protecting the valuable marine assets they love, and determine if this strategy can be scaled for other marine pests.
Remember The WildBay country - Bunurong stories of culture, place, and connectionIn partnership with the Bunurong Land Council, this project will facilitate Bunurong storytelling in the digital realm, bringing cultural stories and traditional knowledge to life through compelling short films.
Safety Beach Foreshore Landscape Committee IncorporatedSafety Beach Coastal Erosion Mitigation ProjectThis project aims to stabilise the heavily eroded dune bank in the project area, thus building resilience against storm surges, reducing associated stormwater runoff into Port Phillip Bay, and creating habitat for native bird nesting sites. This will be achieved via the removal of invasive weed species and revegetation with indigenous species.
Swan Bay Environment AssociationEnhancing Swan Bay saltmarsh and coastal scrub habitats: Phase 1 On-ground works to improve understanding of ecological significance.Partnering with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners and the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre to develop an educational garden showcasing the ecological and cultural significance of salt marsh and coastal scrub. Volunteers will rehabilitate and refresh existing saltmarsh and coastal scrub.
The University Of MelbourneCoastSnap for Port Philip BayCoastSnap for Port Philip Bay harnesses the power of the modern mobile device, allowing beachgoers to contribute to coastal management. Through establishing a dozen photo point sites and using start-of-the-art digital image processing, the position of the shore will be tracked daily. This will provide local land managers with precise information on where sand moves on our beaches and how storms and sea-level rise is changing our shoreline.
The University of Melbourne, GeographyAltona Citizen-Science DronesThrough the establishment of a citizen-science drone group at Altona, this project will empower the community to monitor and understand beach change, both natural and as a result of management interventions. Through the Eureka Award-winning methodology, local volunteers flying drones will produce survey-grade data critical for ensuring the resilience of Altona Beach into the future.
Trust for NatureWarreen Beek Rangers (Year 4)The Warreen Beek Rangers course provides an accredited Certificate III in Conservation & Land Management for Indigenous Students. The course was designed by Bunurong Land Council and the Wurindjeri Naarap Team and is delivered by Trust for Nature in partnership with Holmesglen.
Victorian National Parks AssociationUnderwater weeding; removal of invasive kelp (Undaria pinnatifida) by diversDivers will be trained in the identification and removal of wakame from key sites throughout the bay to control its presence and reduce its capacity to spread.
Yarra Riverkeeper Association IncRegenerating Burnley Harbour for a Healthy BayThe project continues the efforts of previous conservation works to establish a healthy riparian zone opposite Herring Island in the Burnley Harbour area. The project will involve the removal of significant rubbish build up, invasive weed species and additional site preparation to help stabilise banks from further erosion. Regenerating the native species will be done through selective plantings aligned with the relevant EVC and favouring species with higher resilience to climate change and urban disturbance. The project will be conducted by contractors and incorporate a community event to provide engagement and awareness amongst the local groups while performing citizen science.

2016-2020 Port Phillip Bay Fund

34 projects received $3.4 million in funding.


Project Name

1st/14th Brighton Sea Scouts Venturer Unit

Scout cleanup and audits of beaches for micro-plastics and erosion

A.W.A.R.E (Australian Wildlife Assistance, Rescue and Education) Inc.

Waste, Wildlife & Our Waterways

Balcombe Estuary Reserves Group Mt Martha

Better Bay Water Quality - Balcombe Estuary Riparian Restoration & Improvement, Mt Martha

Balliang Food and Fibre Group

Optimising fertiliser application rates to reduce excess nutrient runoff into the Bay

BeachPatrol Australia

Help Save Sam Seadragon

Bellarine Catchment Network

Caring For Our Bays Phase 2

Black Rock Pre School

Black Rock Pre School Beach Kinde

Conservation Volunteers Australia

RAMSAR Wetland Connectivity and Bay Health Protection through Community Action

Darebin Creek Manaegment Committee

Love Your Creek - Love Your Bay

Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning

Melbourne’s Multicultural Coastcare / Landcare Team - a first for Victoria

Dolphin Research Institute

Coastal Ambassadors Working for a Healthy and Valued Port Phillip Bay

Farming Moorabool

Teaching materials on how farmers are protecting the Bay through environmental stewardship

Frankston City Council

Bay Friendly Businesses

Friends of Beleura Cliff Path

Restore indigenous vegetation on Beleura Cliff Path

Friends of Merri Creek

Rapid response to litter cleanups after high rainfall

Friends of the Hooded Plover (Mornington Peninsula) Inc

Protective fencing to protect Hooded Plover habitat nests and chicks

Friends of Westgate Park Inc

Community enhancing Westgate Park's wetlands to improve health of Port Phillip Bay

Loci Environment & Place Inc

Our Future City: 'Linking By Design' Competition

Love Our Street

Love Our Street, Creek and Bay - litter reduction program

Melbourne Water

Community Based Litter Action

Melbourne Water

Reducing litter and sediment, and raising awareness in the Tanti Creek catchment

Mornington Peninsula Shire

Restoring Coast Banksia Woodland, across the Mornington Peninsula

Mornington Peninsula Shire

Upgrading Beach Drainage Outlets

Mt. Eliza Association for Environmental Care (MEAFEC) w/ Friends of Williams Road Beach

Furthering health of foreshore and vulnerable bay habitats: ongoing revegetation and education

National Centre for Coasts and Climate, The University of Melbourne

Restoring healthy ecosystems on subtidal reefs: an integrated approach

National Centre for Coasts and Climate, The University of Melbourne

Managing nitrogen loads in Port Phillip Bay: towards better water quality

National Centre for Coasts and Climate, The University of Melbourne

From grey to green: nature-based solutions for coastal protection

Port Phillip EcoCentre

Clean Bay Blueprint: litter evidence, pro-active education and collaboration

Port Phillip EcoCentre w/ Werribee Riverkeeper

Living Water Workbees: private/public co-creation of weather-resilient Bay and catchment

St Columba's Primary School

St Columba's: Operation STEAM Clean the Bay (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, Maths)

Tangaroa Blue Foundation

Working together to target the source of marine debris & litter

Victorian National Parks Association

Strengthening ReefWatch - communities monitoring the health of Port Phillip Bay

Yarra Ranges Council

River to the Bay, Creating Healthy Waterways

Yarra Riverkeeper Association

Litter and flows - connecting the Yarra and the Bay

39 projects received $4 million in funding.


Project name

A.W.A.R.E (Australian Wildlife Assistance, Rescue and Education) Inc

Waste, Wildlife & Our Waterways

Australian Marine Mammal Conservation Foundation

Bin Not Bay: Education and Community Outreach Programs to Inspire and Empower Bay Health Stewardship

Balcombe Estuary Reserves Group, Mt Martha

Community & Berg Mt Martha Together - Protection, Rehabilitation and Restoration of Coastal Habitat

Bellarine Catchment Network

Caring for our Bays - Connecting Community and Business to the Bay

BirdLife Australia

Avalon Coastal Reserve: Restoring a Forgotten Gem in Port Phillip Bay

Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation

Indigenous Sea Rangers and Local Government delivering Bay Health objectives

Cardi Creek Kids

Cardi Creek Kids: Creek to Coast

Centre for Aquatic Pollution Identification and Management, The University of Melbourne

The Litter Trackers: Reducing Littering by Education

Community Weed Alliance of the Dandenongs Inc

Monbulk Creek Community Neighborhood Program

Conservation Volunteers Australia

Community Led Foreshore Enhancement

Environment Protection Authority

Swimsafe: Citizen science and sensors to protect bay beaches

Fishcare Victoria Inc

Litter Warriors - Protecting our Bay

Frankston Beach Association Inc

Frankston Beach Association Gould Street/ Beach Street and Gould Street/Palm Court Dune Revegetation Project

Friends of Beware Reef Marine Sanctuary

Discover Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park

Friends of Greenwich Bay

Our Coastline on Melbourne's doorstep

Friends of Westgate Park Inc

Planting and collecting litter along Yarra close to the Bay using community volunteers

Geelong Sustainability Group Inc

Connecting your Bay: using creative media to inspire, empower and motivate

Jawbone Marine Sanctuary Care

Jawbone Marine Sanctuary seagrass ecosystem inventory

Mornington Peninsula Shire

Friends, working together to improve the bay

Mother of God Primary School

The Schools Caring for the Bay Project

OzFish Unlimited

Bay Vision: Recreational fishers restoring the Bay's fish habitats

Port Phillip EcoCentre

Leading the way to protect the Bay: Nerm events for Students and Teachers 14

Port Phillip EcoCentre

Global Melbourne: Empowering diverse residents and visitors to protect our Bay

PrimeSCI!, Swinburne University of Technology

Healthy Rivers, Healthy Bay

Reef Life Survey Inc

Beneath the Bay

Remember The Wild

Connected to Port Phillip Initiative: Bringing People and the Bay Together

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

The Plastics Lab: Establishing a free plastics identification facility for Port Philip community groups

School of Geography, The University of Melbourne

Citizen-Science Drones for Bayside Beach Habitat

St Aloysius Primary School

Inspiring Young Marine Science Experts - Stewards of Swan Bay

Tangaroa Blue Foundation

Engaging community, industry and government to reduce plastic resin pellets flowing into Port Phillip Bay

The Nature Conservancy

OysterWatch - Enabling the community to engage in shellfish reef restoration

The Scout Association of Australia Victorian Branch

Street to Bay - Litter Survey of Port Phillip Bay Catchment

Victorian National Parks Association

Broadening and deepening engagement and learning in Port Phillip Bay

Werribee River Association

Litterblitz - raising awareness, partnerships and volunteerism to combat the threat of litter to the bay

Werribee River Association

Bridging troubled waters - linking community groups with pollution tracking technology

White Cliffs to Camerons Bight Foreshore Reserve Committee of Management Inc

Tyrone Foreshore Camping Ground Drainage Upgrade

Wurundjeri Land & Compensation Cultural Heritage Council Aboriginal Corporation

Western Waterways of the Wurundjeri

Yarra Riverkeeper Association

Lower Yarra Reed Bed Blitz Clean

Yarra Riverkeeper Association

The Yarra Catchment Atlas

27 projects received $0.8 million in funding.


Project name

Balcombe Estuary Reserves Group Mt Martha

Mt Martha North Coastal Headland Restoration 2019-20

BeachPatrol Australia

Spring Clean The City 2019

Bellarine Catchment (BCN)

Caring For Our Bays - Cultural Connections

Cardi Creek Kids

Troups Creek 2

Conservation Volunteers Australia

Protecting the Point to Protect the Bay

Conservation Volunteers Australia

Using Natures Assets to Protect the Foreshore

Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations

Development of a Reading Country Program - Bunurong

Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations

Development of a Reading Country Program - Wurundjeri

Fishcare Victoria Inc

Invading the Bay

Friends of Merri Creek

Sediment Slow Down along the Merri and Edgar's Creeks

Greening Australia Limited

Restoring resilience to important coastal habitat of Limeburner's Lagoon through community participation

Lady Forster Kindergarten Inc

Lady Forster Kindergarten: Revegetation to create an 'Outdoor Classroom'

McCrae Homestead Coastal Group Inc

McCrae and Rosebud Foreshore Restoration

Mornington Environment Association

Mornington Foreshore Restoration

Mornington Peninsula Shire Council

Coastal bio infiltration basin to improve stormwater quality to Port Phillip Bay

Mount Eliza Association for Environmental Care

Ongoing Restoration, Mount Eliza Foreshore

Nepean Conservation Group

Foreshore for all - Police Point to Rye Foreshore Restoration

Port Phillip EcoCentre

Help Save Sam Seadragon: now with added reach

Port Phillip EcoCentre

School Sustainability Festival - Bay Leaders program

Rotary Club of Drysdale Inc

Litter management on the Northern Bellarine

Rye Community House

#2 Minute Beach Clean Boards - Rye

Tangaroa Blue Foundation

Let's Strain the Drains

Victorian Fisheries Authority

Port Phillip Bay’s Spider Crab Aggregations – Natural and Social Values

WhiteCliffs to Camerons Bight Foreshore Reserve Committee of Management

Stormwater Outfall Remediation Project

WhiteCliffs to Camerons Bight Foreshore Reserve Committee of Management

Reducing Polluted Stormwater runoff from Blairgowrie, Flinders & WhiteCliffs

Wyndham City Council

Cleaning Werribee River

Yarra Riverkeeper Association

Styrofoam Pollution; Sources and Solutions

Note: Three approved applicants did not proceed with their project from the original announcement.

Port Phillip Bay Fund Round 1-3 progress as of June 2021

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