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The coast

Pied Oyster Catcher (photo: Fiona Smith)

Pied Oyster Catcher (photo: Fiona Smith)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: The coast

Coast Tea-tree (photo: Matt Hoskins)

Coast Tea-tree (photo: Matt Hoskins)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: The coast

Moonah tree (Photo: Peter McConchie)

Moonah tree (Photo: Peter McConchie)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: The coast

Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety Mile Beach

Photo by: 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

Removing the warning signs at Lake Charlegrark Click to view the news RSS feed.

Lake Charlegrark clear of blue green algae

20 Jul 2016

Lake Charlegrark is once again safe for water sports, swimming and fishing, Parks Victoria Area Chief Ranger Mark Urquhart said today. “Blue green algae has been present in this popular destination for 18 months, resulting in public health warnings for people and pets against contacting or ingesting the water,” he…

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Community Tree Planting Event

24 Jul 2016 11:00am-2:00pm

Join Friends of Steele Creek, Wurundjeri's Narrap Team and Parks Victoria for a community tree planting day at Steele Creek in Lower Maribyrnong River Land Park. Please wear appropriate clothing and closed shoes/boots. Bring your own water and gloves. Light refreshments are provided. Enter from: Warrick Court, Avondale Heights; Lily…

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Science In The Park: Wildlife Counts

14 Aug 2016 10:00am-3:00pm

Join PrimeSCI!; the LabRats Student Science Club for a day of fun hands on science activities. 'Young scientists' learn to identify and monitor local species of birds, frogs, koalas, ants and freshwater invertebrates. Or hear from researchers from Westernport Biosphere, Platypus Education Group and other presenters in the wetlands observatory.

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Friends of Glen Nayook working bee

25 Sep 2016 9:00am-11:00am

Loop track maintenance. Morning tea provided.

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Days Mill Open Day

25 Sep 2016 10:30am-1:30pm

The historic site will be open to the public as part of the Activities in the Park program supported by the City of Greater Shepparton. Come along to take a tour of the best preserved 19 century flour mill in Victoria and learn more about its history. The mill is…