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Background

In October 2014, the Victorian Government announced funding for the Caring for our Bays Program (CFOB). The CFOB Program was the first coordinated project to cover the catchments running into Corio Bay (western part of Port Phillip Bay) and to integrate engagement, infrastructure and enforcement activities across community, business and government in the region. This program aimed to reach out and involve groups that were previously working well but in isolation and without a central focus on reducing litter and improving water quality in Corio Bay.

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Our Purpose

The Caring For Our Bays program is an innovative program that aims to lift the profile and appreciation of Corio Bay and the Bellarine shoreline of Port Phillip Bay, raise awareness of litter and its impact and reduce the amount of litter, sediments and nutrients that enter the waterways. Bellarine Catchment Network assists management authorities to improve environmental outcomes, with a focus on this project to improve the health of our waterways and bays.

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The Litter Issue

The bay region is facing a litter crisis. Litter remains in the water and is not generally cleaned up due to the difficulty of collection. Litter is an issue that is evident to all stakeholders and this project will facilitate an integrated and coordinated approach to the issue. This is a generational issue as the litter will persist in the environment for years and it is important to stop the litter at it's source. Healthy, litter free environments are resilient environments. We aim to educate and encourage the community to look after their local area and improve the health of both the bay and the foreshore.

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Citizen Science

A major part the Caring For Our Bays program is a citizen science component. Litter audit volunteers monitor specific coastal sites on a regular basis at 16 locations throughout Geelong and the Bellarine. Since the inception of the program, over 18,000 items of litter has been counted and collected. Data collected feeds into a national database.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Angie at angie@bcn.org.au