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The coast

Pied Oyster Catcher (photo: Fiona Smith)

Pied Oyster Catcher (photo: Fiona Smith)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: The coast

Coast Tea-tree (photo: Matt Hoskins)

Coast Tea-tree (photo: Matt Hoskins)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: The coast

Moonah tree (Photo: Peter McConchie)

Moonah tree (Photo: Peter McConchie)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: The coast

Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety Mile Beach

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: The coast

Often lashed by the wind laden with salt spray, the coast is very dynamic and a difficult environment for living things, with some of its physical features such as dunes and cliffs subject to continual change. Exposure to the power of large waves generated in the Southern Ocean has produced the rugged, eroded landforms that characterise much of our western coastline. In more sheltered areas there are a wide range of other habitats.

Wind, salt, and unstable low nutrient soils made largely of sand that hold little water are the critical influences on the vegetation of the coast and plant communities growing in these areas have evolved a range of strategies to help them cope with this challenging environment.

Plant communities typically found along the coast are:

  • Coastal Dune Scrub –includes plants well suited to the most exposed section of the coast and include many pioneering dune binding plants such as Hairy Spinifex (Spinifex hirsutus)
  • Coastal Moonah Woodlands – often growing on calcareous dunes and cliffs on the coast dominated by the Coastal Moonah (Melaleuca lanceolata subsp. lanceolata)
  • Coastal Banksia Woodland – restricted to near coastal localities on secondary dunes behind Coastal Dune Scrub, these areas are dominated by a woodland over story of Banksia tees
  • Coastal Saltmarsh – in flatter areas of low energy coastlines some areas are dominated by succulent plants that can cope with high salinity soils and some inundation and exposure to salt water and poor drainage.

More about the coast

  • Hardy shrubs such as Coast Tea-tree, Coast Beard-heath, Seaberry Saltbush and Coast Wattle occur on secondary dunes or exposed rock headlands
  • Moonah, Boobialla, Drooping She-oak and Coast Banksia are found on the stabilised dunes and swales on the landward side
  • The most prominent group of large coast dwelling animals are birds such as Orange-bellied Parrot and Pied Oystercatcher which depend directly on saltmarsh plants or a wide range of invertebrates (animals without backbones) for food
  • The Little Penguin and Short-tailed Shearwaters (Muttonbirds) nest in burrows in the dunes.

Key Threats

  • Issues related to impacts from increasing visitor use, combined with edge effects from urban development are key threats to this ecosystem.
  • Rising sea levels and greater frequency of storm events due to climate change may impact on vegetation, estuaries as well as coastal assets.

Where to see the coast and intertidal shores

Sambar deer in the Alpine National Park Click to view the news RSS feed.

Deer control trial for a healthier Alpine National Park

27 Jul 2015

Parks Victoria, in partnership with the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA) and the Australian Deer Association (ADA), have begun a three year trial deer control program to limit environmental damage deer are causing in the Alpine National Park. This trial is the first of its kind in the park…

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What's on for 2015-2016 at Albert Park

1 Jul 2015 12:00am - 30 Jun 2016 12:00am

A wide variety of events are held at Albert Park throughout the year. Events range from fun runs and sporting tournaments to other community events. See the full calendar here.

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Hooded Plovers Naturewise Experience

29 Jul 2015 8:30am - 31 Jul 2015 5:30pm

On this exclusive Naturewise trip you will be working alongside Parks Victoria Rangers and conservation experts on a critical Hooded Plover habitat restoration projects including hands-on removal of sea spurge, establishing photo monitoring points, and recording data on any Hooded Plover activity. You will also experience the best of the…

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GMBC Winter NFF 2015, Round 8

31 Jul 2015 6:00pm-8:30pm

Round 8 of GMBC Winter NFF 2015 series. MTB trails in use in Kurrajong.

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Healesville/Coranderrk Walk: Learn about Wurundjeri history & Coranderrk Mission

3 Aug 2015 2:00pm-4:00pm

During Wurundjeri Week, Wurundjeri Council will be running various tours on Wurundjeri Country to educate the public on different aspects of Indigenous and Wurundjeri culture. Coranderrk Mission still holds great significance to the Wurundjeri people as well as tribes of the Kulin Nation. Discover how it came about, the people…