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Coastal and catchment management

Coastal Management

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) manages public land and water resources for the people of Victoria. DELWP aims to protect our environment and manage our natural resources with an approach strongly influenced by decision-making at a local level. It is responsible for managing 96% of land along the coast of Victoria that is public land and its general marine waters (i.e. not part of a protected marine reserve, sanctuary or park). 



For more information about coastal management please visit DELWP's website.

The Victorian Coastal Council (VCC) is appointed by the Victoria Government in accordance with the Coastal Management Act 1995. The purpose of the VCC is to:

  • provide for coordinated strategic planning and management for the Victorian coast;
  • provide for the preparation and implementation of management plans for coastal Crown land; and
  • provide a coordinated approach to approvals for the use and development of coastal Crown land.

For more information on coastal planning and management please visit the Victorian Coastal Council's website.

People snorkelling at Morning Beach, pristine waters

Mornington Beach. Image source: Parks Victoria

Catchment Management

A catchment is an area of land bounded by natural features such as hills or mountains, from which all runoff water flows to a low point – like rain on a roof flowing to a downpipe.

Catchments can vary greatly in size. Large catchments may be bounded by mountain ranges and include a large network of many creeks and rivers. These networks can be broken up into smaller sub-catchments, bounded by lower hills and ridges and drained by smaller creeks or gullies. How each of these sub-catchments is managed affects the overall health of the river, as what occurs upstream affects areas downstream. 



Victoria is divided into ten catchment regions and a Catchment Management Authority (CMA) is established for each region. CMAs work with other government agencies, like DELWP and Melbourne Water, along with the rest of the community, in planning how each region’s land, water and biodiversity resources should be managed. 



In the Port Phillip Bay region, Melbourne Water manages water supply catchments, treats and supplies drinking and recycled water, removes and treats most of Melbourne’s sewage, and manages waterways and major drainage systems. Melbourne Water works with the community, councils, the government and other authorities to improve the condition of rivers and creeks, and protect waterway environments from the impacts of urban development, pollution and agriculture.



For more information on the Port Phillip and Westernport CMA please visit their website.

Melbourne Water Catchment Management

Catchment. Image source: Melbourne Water

Program Partners

Department of Environment and Primary Industries Environmental Protection Agency Melbourne Water