Plan to improve, keep peninsula’s biodiversity

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Mornington Peninsula Shire is seeking public feedback on a new plan to help manage, protect and enhance biodiversity on the peninsula.

The draft Biodiversity Conservation Plan outlines strategies and actions to help achieve “best practice environmental stewardship” and draws on the Shire’s State of Biodiversity Report.

Biodiversity is regarded as being the variety of plants and animals in a particular area, with high levels seen as important for a healthy habitat. 

The draft biodiversity conservation plan details data from scientific, government and community sources – essential reading for anyone interested in the peninsula’s natural environment.

The mayor Cr David Gill said the community “has told us natural assets are the most important feature of the peninsula”.

“With over 200 kilometres of coast, 440 kilometres of creeks, 400 species of indigenous fauna and nearly 700 species of indigenous plants, the diverse environments of the peninsula need protection to remain resilient and healthy.

“Biodiversity also plays a key role in our health and wellbeing.

“We have a fantastic wealth of volunteers and it’s important to strengthen this connection and encourage the wider community to become good environmental stewards.”

Cr Gill said the nearly 60 “friends” groups in collaboration with the shire’s bushland management team ran 380 working bees across 60 reserves during 2017-2018.

“At these working bees, volunteers contributed more than 4800 hours, undertaking 96 hectares of environmental weed control and planting 9500 local native plants.”

He said the groups provided a platform for other environmental opportunities besides working bees, including Clean-Up Australia Day, tree planting events and citizen science projects.

Details about making submissions to the draft Biodiversity Conservation Plan are at: mornpen.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay.

First published in the Western Port News – 16 January 2019

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