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 project, which expanded in 2004, under Corangamite Catchment Management Authority guidance, to include the whole of the Bellarine Peninsula, is highly regarded as an excellent model for other communities in the integration of catchment, terrestrial, coastal and marine based issues.
The project has won numerous 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.