News & Campaigns

We will keep you updated here with all news of marine and ocean matters, as well as ongoing campaigns


Ban Cigarette Smoking on Bayside Foreshore

Bayside Council is planning to ban cigarette smoking on beaches in Bayside, as well as the Brighton Dunes and Ricketts Point area.

Sandringham Foreshore Association is leading a campaign to extend this ban to all the foreshore areas of Bayside, including beachside parking lots and cliff tops.  These butts invariably end up in the Bay.

The above photograph was taken at the lower car park at Half Moon Bay at our beach clean on 1 February 2020. The children picked up more than 400 butts in 1 hour of cleaning from the car park and surrounding vegetation (minimal found on the actual sand).

Not only are these areas sites of major pollution from cigarette butts, but they also create bushfire risks.  (The Metropolitan Fire Brigade has warned that the beach side of Beach Road Sandringham is a fire risk.)

Please go to Council’s website before 23 February to support Vicki Karalis and Sandringham Foreshore Association’s campaign to stop this fire risk and keep our community and environment just that little bit safer “by asking for a ban along all the Bayside foreshore”.





Photos courtesy of Parks Victoria, Wikipedia and Tumblr.


Given the current warm weather at present there are widespread patches of red discoloured water that is being seen from the shore or vessels. This is caused by blooms of the bioluminescent dinoflagellate Noctiluca scintillans.

From Kanowna Island right across to the Surfcoast there have been a number of reports received by Parks Victoria staff and the Pollution Response Team at DJPR from concerned members of the public that this is oil, sewage, paint, or other pollution .

This is a natural occurrence that is semi-regular at this time of year particularly when there is a fair bit of calm weather and seas, and a similar situation occurred last year along the surf coast.

The algal bloom was initially seen, reported, and later sampled off Ocean Grove by PV Queenscliff staff, and has since been confirmed as Noctiluca scintillans.

Noctiluca is also known as “Sea Sparkles” and in high concentrations creates spectacular bioluminescent displays at night.

DELWP who are leading the communication on this have a little bit more info on their Social Media Platforms including the following public advice from

As a precaution, members of the public are advised to avoid direct contact with affected water. Direct contact may cause allergic reactions such as skin rashes or itchiness, sore ears or nose, or if swallowed, gastroenteritis, nausea and vomiting.

If you make contact with affected water, wash and rinse your skin and hair, clothes and wetsuits in clean water. If you are concerned for your health, seek medical advice.

If pets or animals make contact with affected water, wash and rinse them in clean water.

Boating and fishing is still allowed in these areas, however care needs to be taken. Fish caught from affected areas should be rinsed and cleaned thoroughly in fresh water, and internal organs removed from the fish and discarded before eating.

Do not eat mussels, crayfish or yabbies caught from the affected area.

We will be working with our partner agencies including the Victorian Fisheries Authority, Parks Victoria, Life Saving Victoria and the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure the public is informed of any changes and the potential risks.

Mark Rodrigue
State-wide Leader – Marine and Coasts
Environment and Science Division
Parks Victoria



Congratulations to all Bayside Councillors, who last night (17/12/19) showed great courage and leadership in unanimously declaring a Climate Emergency.

Councillors themselves strengthened recommendations put to them, and will develop an ambitious Climate Emergency Action Plan.  This will include writing to the Federal government  urging them to take action, and Bayside being carbon neutral by the end of 2020.

Congratulations also to Council officers for all their hard work.

We look forward to working with Council in developing the plan and engaging the whole community.


Bayside Council to consider a Climate Emergency Declaration

At their December 2019 Council meeting, Bayside Council will consider revising its current Climate Change Strategy and the merits of declaring a Climate Emergency.

Councillors have expressed strong concern about the effect on health, particularly that of older people and children, as a result of more extreme weather events, and the environment.
BCCAG are collecting signatures now on a petition in support of the declaration, to be presented at Council’s 8 November meeting. Request a petition form from BCCAG executive members David W, 0409 235502 or David R, 0418 523322. You can also sign on line here.

Council’s actions are in line with many other Councils across Australia, who see a declaration as an important way to signal the need for strong bipartisan action on climate change, and to see what they need to change in their own activities.

You can attend the Council meeting on 17 December to listen to this historic debate.


March of the Giant Spider Crabs
(end of May to mid June)

You haven’t lived until you have sat on the sea bed in the middle of metre-high swarms of thousands of Giant Spider Crabs, each crab bigger than a basketball!

These remarkable crustaceans spend most of the year widely spread throughout the Port Phillip Bay, their shells covered in growths that makes them hard to see. They are scavengers, eating almost anything they find and helping to keep our bay clean. They come together at the end of May to breed before the winter moulting season which ends in mid June.

Click HERE to see more.


Meet the Candidates forum

The Beaumaris Conservation Society recorded the Climate Forum which is available for viewing on their website. Please Click Here to view the discussion with the Candidates.

Free –  Goldstein Candidate Forum on Climate
Thurs 2 May, 7.30pm at Beaumaris Community Centre, 90 Reserve Road, Beaumaris

BCCAG, along with Beaumaris Conservation Society and Marine Care Ricketts Point, are holding a Goldstein Candidate Forum on Climate.
All candidates will be participating so come along and get your climate questions answered on all the HOT issues.
Here is your opportunity to come along, listen to and question your candidates before you vote in the Federal Election. Your attendance will show all candidates the importance of Climate issues for the next federal government.


 Great news!

Zero plastics by mid-2020 Bayside City Council premises

Single use plastics will no longer be issued from Council’s Corporate Centre and libraries by 30 June 2019. Other Council-owned properties such as community centres and senior citizen centres will stop using single use plastics by 30 June 2020 as Council commits to a future of zero single-use plastics.

This great initiative was proposed by Elizabeth Jensen president of Marine Care Ricketts Point who said,

“Beach Patrols spend countless hours cleaning rubbish from our beaches. By far the single biggest waste item we collect is plastics.  Over 95% of rubbish on our beaches comes from the rivers and stormwater drains of Port Phillip Bay.  This decision will help save our marine life and keep our beaches safe. Micro-plastics are known to be harmful to marine life. Once plastics enter the waters, they contaminate and accumulate in marine wildlife through ingestion. There is evidence that plastic particles and associated chemicals have already entered the human food chain such as in mussels. When ingested, they may harm human health”.

Dr Vicki Karalis, AM, President, Sandringham Foreshore Association said “Council should be applauded for their leadership in banning single-use plastics associated with Council premises. This will help reduce the amount of plastics we find on beaches. It is a matter of time that other municipalities and neighbouring communities will also follow this great initiative.”

“Council’s unanimous decision last Tuesday night to eliminate single-use plastics from Council premises and leases shows great leadership.  There was widespread support from many leading community groups, including Marine Care Ricketts Point, Beaumaris Conservation Society, Sandringham Foreshore Association, Beach Patrol Australia and Bayside Climate Change Action Group.  Cr Laurie Evans noted the vote was ‘Driven by the Community’.

Council’s focus on educating the community about the issue of single-use plastics and its intention to engage with schools and the broader community is a very positive way to move forward.  Many community groups have committed to working with Council to help achieve an outstanding result. We look forward to many other Councils throughout Melbourne following this lead.”  (Greg Mier, President, Beaumaris Conservation Society.)


Bayside City Council to Ban Single Use Plastics

MCRP have some great news.

Marine Care Ricketts Point proposal had terrific success at Bayside Council on Tuesday night, 19 March when Councillors showed great leadership, and voted unanimously to ban single-use plastics (eg straws, cups, spoons, other plastic cutlery and crockery) in Bayside Council-controlled premises.

In a seldom-seen action, all Councillors spoke about how moved they’d been by our stories and data, and how concerned they are to protect future generations.

It was a fantastic night!

This will greatly benefit the health of Ricketts Point Sanctuary and Port Phillip Bay.

We particularly thank Cr Laurie Evans for taking up our cause with other Councillors. As he said, this is community power in action.

Hopefully this movement will snowball to all other Melbourne Councils, especially if local community groups take up the cause in their own area.

Many thanks, also, to those members of MCRP who spoke or turned up to the meeting in support.

There was great community support. Fifteen individuals or organisations wrote to Cr Laurie Evans in favour of the proposal, and 15 people, including those representing major organisations such as Sandringham Foreshore Association, Beaumaris Conservation Society, BCCAG, Bayside U3A, and Beach Patrol Australia (including Love Our Streets) spoke at the meeting.

Further action:

If you want to do more to promote this movement, you can:

  • (Respectfully) Take your own mug to coffee shops;
  • (Respectfully) Don’t accept straws, plastic spoons etc for take-away;
  • If you live outside of Bayside, ask your local Council to follow Bayside’s lead.

Details of the Decision:
Councillors voted unanimously to

  • eliminate single-use plastics in the Corporate Centre and Libraries by July 2019; and
  • in other Council premises, including community centres, by July 2020;
  • enhance guidelines for commercial leases to reduce use of plastics at Council’s commercial leases (eg The Teahouse, Beaumaris, the Baths and North Point, Brighton); and
  • Report back to Council by June 2019 on the merits of the Hobart Council ban;
  • encourage other Melbourne Councils to follow Bayside’s lead.

Full details of the resolution are at  (p16)


Plastic Contamination.

Two important articles were published in the Guardian Newspaper this week with researchers showing evidence of the extent of plastic pollution.



Bayside Council is seeking ideas on priorities for the use of the soon-to-be established Elsternwick Park nature reserve.

This park is critically important, as it will be the first piece of natural reserve that Bayside Council has established in a very long time.

It also feeds into the Elster Creek, which means that it will be able to improve water quality in the Bay (and hence Ricketts Point) and support native (including marine) wildlife.

You can have your say at

Or there are feedback sessions at the Elsternwick Park Oval.



The five-yearly Victorian State of the Environment (SoE) 2018 report by Commissioner Dr Gillian Sparkes was publicly released on 19 March 2019.

It has a wealth of information, with comments on our Bay and the Yarra River.

Unfortunately, it shows that the Yarra continues to decline in quality and is getting more polluted – and of course this ends up in the Bay.

The following links below are to 1. the Age newspaper’s summary of the report on the Yarra  2.the full report; 3. the state of the Bays; and 4 and 5 the summary of the indicator report card and all indicators.



Marine pest ID cards – please click on the link below to download important information to help identify the pests from the native marine inhabitants.

Marine pest id cards



Recent newsletters

Ray Lewis OAM,a long-term member, has published the MCRP Members Newsletter over many years to keep us informed on matters relevant to the marine environment and our Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary. Many thanks to Ray for his tireless passion and generosity. Some of the Newsletters are listed below – just click on the links to read.


MCRP Mailer 68

MCRP mailer no 67 a

MCRP Mailer 66

MCRP mailer 65

MCRP Mailer 64

MCRP mailer 63













Rock Revetment at Black Rock Not Going Ahead

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), through its Coastal Programs priority setting process, has determined not to fund the construction of the proposed rock revetment at Black Rock in 2019/20. DELWP advised that project planning, including community engagement activities relating to this project, will recommence once funding is secured for the project.
+ Read More

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Reminder – Our October Beach Clean Is This Saturday!

When: Saturday, 5th October 2019, 11 am Where:  South of Beachside cafe, Ricketts Point. Look out for our MCRP flag on the beach.

Posted in Beach Patrol, GET INVOLVED, News | Leave a comment

Try The New Jellyfish App

This free app provides info on jellyfish identification, reported sightings & first aid treatment. Click here.

Posted in News, RESOURCES | Leave a comment

Environmental Volunteering Survey Summary of Key Findings

This survey revealed that we have a large group of highly active and committed Victorians passionate about their contribution to the environment through volunteering.  While there is an overall high level of satisfaction from our current environmental volunteers, they were able to let us know how they can be better supported. Please read a summary
+ Read More

Posted in News, Uncategorised | Leave a comment

Helping Volunteers Monitor Victoria’s Rich Marine Parks

DELWP has developed an app to help volunteers monitor the health of our Marine Parks, including Ricketts Point. For those members who take photos and videos of our marine life, this is a great step forward. The new Sea Search app allows volunteers to better monitor our unique marine life, by helping them identify what they are
+ Read More

Posted in News, Uncategorised | Leave a comment

Meeting to Develop Project Ideas

Do you have an idea for a project for MCRP? Members are invited to come along to a special meeting on Tuesday 20th March – 7.30 to  8.30pm at Beaumaris Seniors Centre, 84 Reserve Road, Beaumaris (building behind library) – to brainstorm ideas.

Posted in GET INVOLVED, News | Leave a comment

Oceans of Plastic –  Plastics Pollution

By 2050 there will be more plastic in the earth’s oceans than weight of fish! (World Economic Forum, 2016) Plastics are so ubiquitous that we don’t even notice them.  Plastic bags, bottles, nappies, balloons, cigarette butts – very little manages to get into recycling.  They blow around, end up down drains, and invariably end up
+ Read More

Posted in Beach Patrol, News | Leave a comment

Oceans of Plastic, by French filmmaker Vincent Perazio

Very short notice sorry. It was just brought to my attention that the ABC is repeating a Four Corners show they played last Monday. It is on plastics in the oceans and is it going anywhere? Quite interesting. For those that missed it and would like to see it here is another chance. (Although it
+ Read More

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Draft Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan – we need your help!

To help us to finalise the draft Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan, you are invited to attend our community workshop:   Monday 28 November, Beaumaris Yacht Club, 7pm start (with light supper available) and session ends 8.30pm This workshop will introduce the draft Plan, the goals that will guide action and investment over the
+ Read More

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Tackling marine debris & litter at the source – workshop invitations!

You are invited to participate in an exciting project to tackle marine debris & litter at the source. As a leading expert in addressing the marine debris issue, Tangaroa Blue Foundation is coordinating Source Reduction Plan workshops in seven council regions around Port Phillip Bay in 2017 (see more details below). Cleaning up areas like beaches, waterways,
+ Read More

Posted in News | Leave a comment