Image of snorkellers looking at seals on a platform in Port Phillip BayAll of the Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan 2017-2027 (EMP)'s stewardship activities are scored using the Marine and Coastal Stewardship Index (MCSI) method. Fixed term activities are scored on completion while ongoing activities are scored every 5 years.

Stewardship is defined as community participation in activities that achieve positive environmental change and avoidance of environmental harm in the marine and coastal environment.

The MCSI is based on 4 categories of stewardship activity: Comprehensive, Focused, Enterprising, Supporting. The progression of activities from Supporting through to Comprehensive represents an increasing confidence the activity is delivering environmental benefits.

The results from the MCSI do not compare the relative importance of the categories or the varying environmental outcomes, as all stewardship activities are valued. The results simply provide a visualisation of the continuum of stewardship activities occurring under the EMP.

Photo Credit: Marcia Riederer 
Supporting The activity develops skills and knowledge vital for effective stewardship.
Enterprising The activity is untargeted; its contribution to the protection, enhancement and restoration of the marine and coastal environment is small or unknown.
Focused The activity contributes to the protection, enhancement and restoration of the marine and coastal environment.
Comprehensive The activity is highly targeted and delivers protection, enhancement and restoration of the marine and coastal environment.

The categories are underpinned by these 5 indicators:

  • Environmental objectives: extent to which the activity is targeted to documented environmental priorities, including the EMP.
  • Effort: the effort expended on the activity as measured by time, cost and resources. The highest scoring contribution for effort is the allocated score for any given activity.
  • Outcome: extent of direct environmental outcomes actually achieved.
  • Accountability: the degree of confidence that the activity is being delivered to the agreed standard.
  • Adaptive management: ability of the activity lead to identify and adapt the activity to changes in environmental or social conditions, such as bushfires or COVID-19, and still deliver outcomes.

Activities receive a score between 1-4 for each indicator and these scores are then totaled to provide the activity’s MCSI category.

There is an exception, any activity that scores 1 for environmental objectives is assigned to the Supporting category and not scored further, as they aim to develop skills and knowledge vital for effective stewardship rather than directly delivering environmental outcomes. To avoid bias, activities are scored by a minimum of 2 assessors and are scored on available information.

Page last updated: 17/04/24