The Beginning (1997)
A grass-roots, community-driven project to protect Swan Bay, a marine Ramsar wetland, began in the Swan Bay Catchment in 1997 with the formation of the Swan Bay Integrated Catchment Management Committee.
The project brought together government and non-government organizations to plan and initiate combined action by community, schools, government and industry to tackle major environmental and land management issues across the catchment, coastal and marine environments of the Swan Bay Catchment. The Swan Bay Catchment Action Plan was developed by the committee as the primary focus document for committee activity and direction. The Swan Bay Integrated Catchment Management Committee changed to the Bellarine Catchment Network.
The Bellarine Catchment Network Committee work towards achiveing the set vision and goals in BCN's Action Plan 2009-2014 (currently under review). The vision and goals include the following;
The Bellarine Catchment Network region will work towards healthy, well connected and resilient wetlands, waterways and native vegetation ecosystems; sustainable agricultural and land management practices; and a community which is engaged and involved in protecting and managing the natural environment.
Our Priority Aims
- Protect and enhance Ramsar wetlands and connecting wetlands;
- Promote and apply Ramsar values and guidelines;
- Protect, enhance and link remnant vegetation;
- Protect indigenous fauna and enhance existing habitats;
- Facilitate community awareness and participation;
- Advocate for adaptive management to climate change;
- Rehabilitate and protect watercourses and improve water quality (in-stream & stormwater);
- Increase the adoption of sustainable agricultural and land management practices;
- Promote pest plant and pest animal control; and
- Be an active, engaged and well-supported network.
To view our association rules, please click on this link: Rules for the Association- Bellarine Catchment Network Inc.
Since inception, BCN have been awarded with many state and regional environment awards including:
- 2016 Borough of Queenscliffe Australia Day Awards: Community Environment Project of the Year
- 2015 Awards Australia Victorian Regional Awards - Environment Sustainability Award - Finalist
- 2013 Corangamite CMA - Coastcare Community Group Award
- 2009 Victorian Coastal Award for Excellence Integrated Coastal and Catchment Management
- 2007 Victorian Landcare Awards - Australian Government Coastcare Award
- 2005 Federal Environment Minister’s Award for Coastal Custodians - “Victoria Highly Commended”
- 2005 City of Greater Geelong World Environment Day Award - in recognition of services to the environment.
- 2002 Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence - "Award for Excellence in Coastal Conservation and Protection by a Community Group”
- 2001 Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence - A "High Commendation" for Coastal Conservation and Protection
- 2000 Victorian Landcare Awards - The BP Landcare Catchment Management Award.