Tootgarook Wetland Management Plan

The Tootgarook Wetland Management Plan (adopted May 2018) is an environmental management plan that forms part of the stewardship and advocacy role of Council in protecting and enhancing the Mornington Peninsula's biodiversity.

The Plan contains specific recommended actions that seek to protect and conserve the valued ecosystem of the Wetland as well as promote the area as an ecotourism destination.

Download: Tootgarook Wetland Management Plan, May 2018(PDF, 29MB)

About Tootgarook Wetland

Tootgarook Wetland is a groundwater-dependent, freshwater wetland within the Chinamans Creek Catchment. As the largest groundwater-dependent ecosystem and freshwater marsh in the region, the Wetland is identified as a priority area under the Melbourne Water Healthy Waterways Strategy and Port Phillip and Western Port Regional Catchment Strategy. It is also recognised by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning as a biosite of state significance and forms part of the internationally recognised Western Port Biosphere. While the Wetland is not currently a Ramsar-designated wetland, the Ramsar Nomination Feasibility Study commissioned by Council in June 2013 found that it arguably meets several listing criteria, having regard particularly to the presence of nationally listed endangered species including the Australasian Bittern.

Eight key values are associated with the Wetland which include uniqueness, habitat, and rare flora and fauna. The integrity of the key values risks being compromised by nine key threats that include future development, intensive agriculture, and feral animals and environmental weeds. Therefore, Council commissioned environmental engineering specialist BMT in April 2015 to prepare an environmental management plan in partnership with Conservation Volunteers Australia with the purpose of addressing these risks to ensure that the Wetland continues to thrive as a healthy ecosystem for current and future generations.

Implementation of the management plan

Implementation of the Tootgarook Wetland Management Plan is ongoing. The management actions are grouped under the following five key themes:

  • Land use planning actions
  • Environmental management actions
  • Recreation and tourism actions
  • Community awareness, education and involvement actions
  • Research and monitoring actions

Progress updates on the implementation are undertaken annually around November. You can use the link below to download the last update undertaken in November 2019:

Download: Tootgarook Wetland Implementation Update - November 2019(PDF, 188KB)