We report some challenging findings for Victoria’s marine and coastal environments, while also identifying areas where our interventions and practical actions are improving environmental outcomes.

View the report findings based on the following themes

View the report findings based on indicators

Consistent with the findings of the recent Sixth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, none of the climate change impacts indicators in our report were assessed as having a good status, with deteriorating trends observed for 21 of the 22 regional climate change indicators.

In contrast, we report promising statistics regarding the engagement of community members in coastal and marine volunteering, Coastcare and citizen science activities. The Coastcare program supports hundreds of community groups and volunteers working to protect and enhance Victoria's coastline. During 2019-20 over 13,400 people participated in Coastcare activities, a 28% increase on the previous financial year and citizen scientists remained actively involved in marine and coastal programs - even during the COVID lockdown, virtual projects enabled seal counts for example (via webcam) and other activities to continue.

A need for conservation from catchments-to-reefs

We found a need to develop a "catchment-to-reefs" philosophy in Victoria. Many of the pressures on our coasts, bays, estuaries, lakes and ocean are a result of our activities on land. A continued focus on management and regulatory actions that link activities in our catchments to benefits for Victoria’s marine and coastal environment is critical.

A need for action, and continued community engagement to protect our marine and coasts

We identify the need for strong action to mitigate, adapt and protect our marine and coastal environments and communities from the impacts of climate change.

The challenge for all Victorians is to maximise the potential of the recent reform of marine and coastal legislation and policy and to continually strive for a whole-of-system approach to guide action.

A need for technology advancement

Spatial information and Earth observation continue to offer new paths to environmental understanding. There is a capability that exists now and is growing in range and importance as an enabler of better decision making and more targeted environmental management.

This report provides a comprehensive assessment of the contributions that spatial information can make to marine and coastal management and reporting - now and into the future.

Future priorities

Southern bottletail squid (Sepiadarium austrinum)
Image credit - Julian Finn, Museums Victoria