What the Strategy is

The Marine and Coastal Strategy 2022 will support sustainable use and improve how we manage the health of the marine and coastal environment.

It is a five-year action plan to begin implementing the Marine and Coastal Policy 2020 . Delivery of this Strategy will allow Victorians to benefit from a healthy marine and coastal environment now and in the future.

The Strategy was developed with input from Traditional Owners, the Victorian Marine and Coastal Council, marine and coastal managers, communities and interest groups.

The Strategy includes six actions and an important message from Victorian coastal Traditional Owners. Their message highlights:

‘The time is now — to speak, listen and act with courage; to make decisions together and transparently that are in the interests of our oceans, coastlines, connected landscapes and waterways for generations to follow... We must forge a future together to make things better…It is our assertion that this Marine and Coastal Strategy (the Strategy) needs to be a living document.

…The Strategy provides a roadmap for the conversations and transparent decision-making Traditional Owners, government and the broader Victorian community need to make together……It is all our children and grandchildren who will suffer or thrive as a result of the decisions we make now about our precious marine and coastal environments. We need to work together to change and adapt to the current environmental, social and political climate.’

Marine and Coastal Strategy 2022 (PDF, 5.5 MB)

Marine and Coastal Strategy 2022 (DOCX, 5.9 MB)

Marine and Coastal Strategy 2022 - Executive Summary (PDF, 2.2 MB)

Marine and Coastal Strategy 2022 - Executive Summary (DOCX, 5.7 MB)

What the Strategy will do

The Strategy lays the foundation to achieve the vision and intended outcomes of the Policy. The Strategy will:

  • Enable Traditional Owners to integrate cultural values, uses and practices in the healing and ongoing management of Country.
  • Build the foundations for long-term climate adaptation and environmental protection in Victoria’s marine and coastal environment.
  • Improve integration and coordination across governments, industries and communities when planning and managing marine and coastal areas.
  • Build the skills and capability of Traditional Owners, communities, managers and governments to effectively plan and manage for a healthy and resilient marine and coastal environment.

The Strategy sets out six actions with supporting activities to achieve these objectives.

Action 1: Traditional Owners determine how their rights and obligations are embedded into  planning and management of the marine and coastal environment

Traditional Owners are rights holders in the marine and coastal environment. They have a long-held connection to Country.

Action 1 integrates Traditional Owners' value, uses and practices into management of Country. Action 1 will:

  • assess biological and cultural values
  • monitor impacts from land use and climate change across Country
  • apply objectives and assertions from Country in regional and local planning
  • manage marine and coastal areas and resources
  • inform future policy and planning directions at local and state level.
Action 2: Improve the condition and ecological connectivity of habitats and respect and care for our marine and coastal areas

There is intrinsic value in Victoria's marine and coastal biodiversity. Traditional culture, and our personal and economic wellbeing rely on a healthy environment.

Action 2 will improve the condition and connectivity of marine and coastal ecosystems. It will empower Victorians to connect with and care for our marine and coastal areas. It also acknowledges the intrinsic value of our marine and coastal environment. Action 2 will:

  • map habitat linkages
  • strengthen planning tools to manage threats to habitat
  • provide incentives to restore habitat
  • deliver education, citizen science and volunteering programs.
Action 3:  Adapting to impacts of climate change

Victoria is already experiencing impacts from climate change. We need to prepare for and adapt to the increasing frequency and intensity of these impacts. Action 3 will:

  • improve our understanding of climate change impacts and risks
  • embed long-term adaptation into planning and management
  • build the capacity of land managers to respond to climate change impacts.
Action 4: Support sustainable use and development of the marine and coastal environment

Victoria's population is growing. This means more people are choosing to enjoy, live by and work in our marine and coastal environment. We need to manage this increased demand to access and use marine and coastal areas. This will reduce conflicts between users and protect the environment's health.

Action 4 enables sustainable use and development of the marine and coastal environment. Action 4 will:

  • facilitate long-term strategic planning for Crown land management and recreation and industry uses
  • build the knowledge, skills and capacity of Victoria’s marine and coastal managers.
Action 5: Implement the Marine Spatial Planning Framework

Victoria's marine environment is an active place and how we use it continues to grow and change. As use increases and diversifies, so too does potential for conflict between uses and pressures on marine ecosystems.

Marine spatial planning can be used to integrate planning and management, and aid in finding a balance between the needs of different uses in the marine environment, while also supporting cultural, economic, social, and environmental values.

It is a participatory approach that involves rights holders, marine and coastal stakeholders and communities to identify management actions and solutions.

The Policy includes a Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) Framework that provides guidance and policies for marine planning and management, and outlines Victoria's approach to marine spatial planning. Action 5 will continue to implement the Marine Spatial Planning Framework.

Action 5 will:

  • identify and determine the mechanism, governance and funding to give effect to marine spatial planning
  • develop guidance and tools required to undertake marine spatial planning
  • undertake Victoria’s first marine spatial planning process.
Action 6: Identify resource needs for sustainable marine and coastal management

Action 6 will develop options for resourcing sustainable marine and coastal management. It will:

  • establish what funding we already have
  • identify what funding will help manage current and future challenges
  • understand the environmental, social and economic value of our marine and coastal environment.

Policy context

The Strategy has been developed to deliver on the Marine and Coastal Policy 2020's vision and outcomes. It is the first of three strategies over the next 15 years.

Policy Timeframe

Marine and Coastal Act 2018

The Act outlines how to protect and manage our marine and coastal environment. It sets objectives and principles to integrate and coordinate its planning and management.

Marine and Coastal Policy 2020

The Policy guides decision makers in achieving the Act's objectives. The policy sets a vision.

The vision is for: a healthy, dynamic and biodiverse marine and coastal environment that is valued in its own right, and that benefits the Victorian community now and in the future.

The Policy outlines intended outcomes for the next 15 years. It includes a Planning and Decision Pathway and the Marine Spatial Planning Framework.

Strategy purpose

It is important we care for our marine and coastal environment, now and into the future,

The Strategy is a five-year plan of action to achieve the Marine and Coastal Policy 2020's vision. It is a link between the Policy and on-ground action.

Strategy delivery

The Strategy identifies 54 activities to deliver the six actions. Each activity will be delivered by a lead and collaborating agencies within a timeframe. These agencies all have legislated roles to manage the marine and coastal environment.

Lead agencies are responsible for implementing activities. They will consult with all collaborating rightsholders, organisations and relevant stakeholder groups. Collaborators will provide input and support delivery of the activity,

Who Responsibilities (Note this list is not exclusive)
  • Facilitate the activity to occur / make it happen
  • Project management
  • Reporting
  • Delivery / implementation
  • Consult with identified collaborator rights holders / agencies
  • Consult with all relevant stakeholder according to IAP2 spectrum of public participation
  • Provide input and viewpoints to make sure activity meets best standard
  • Ensure that the activity delivers on the needs from the collaborator's perspective
  • Promotes connections
  • Complements other work
  • Guides delivery
  • Agencies who should be engaged by the Lead to ensure integration and collaboration

Strategy development

The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action developed the Strategy with input from Traditional Owners, the Victorian Marine and Coastal Council and other key stakeholders. The draft Strategy was released for public consultation in June 2021. The Strategy was finalised considering consultation submissions and further input from key stakeholders.

Visit Engage Victoria for more information about the consultation process.

Strategy Development

Key Documents

Related Pages and Documents

Page last updated: 07/03/23