News & Campaigns

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

“Save Margaret’s Tree”


Some of you may already be aware of the tea tree under threat at Beaumaris Reserve, next to the Community centre. We are supporting Beaumaris Conservation Society to save this one tree.

We are calling the tree (number 46 on the plans) “Margaret’s Tree” after the lady who left this notice alerting the community of the plan to remove it even though it’s this is not required to build the sports facility.

We do not want to stop the rebuilding of the sporting facilities; we only want to save the tree!

We can save Margaret’s tree if Bayside City Council is asked to stop and consider redesigning the building. There is plenty of room for both the tree and a new sports facility.

We are asking you to support Beaumaris Conservation Society and other local conservation groups to save this significant tree. Plans can be viewed at

We need to let Bayside City Council know by Friday 7th August that the community cares about Margaret’s tree.

If you wish to use either of the template available below

Objection Form re Permit Application ref number 5-2020-114-1 (re 88 Reserve Rd Beaumaris) short version

Objection Form re Permit Application ref number 5-2020-114-1 (re 88 Reserve Rd Beaumaris)

or write your own words into the templates, then attach it to your email and send to

You could also send a copy of your objection or a letter to all the Councillors.

Clarke  Martin – Mayor E:

Rob  Grinter – Deputy Mayor E:

Alex  del Porto – Councillor E:

Michael  Heffernan – Councillor E:

James  Long  BM JP – Councillor E:

Sonia  Castelli – Councillor E:

Laurence  Evans  OAM – Councillor E:


Bayside Annual Community Grants are now open

All local not for profit groups that contribute to making Bayside a better place to live are invited to apply for a community grant, now.
Council’s Annual Community Grants Program supports organisations that strengthen and enrich community life through programs and activities in a range of areas including leisure, cultural awareness, environment, health, education, sporting and welfare
In 2020-21 Council has increased the total funding budget to over $200,000 (an increase of over $70,000) significantly expanding the capacity of the Grants Program at Bayside City Council allowing many additional projects to be funded in 2020-21

Applications for community grants up to $7,500 open on Friday 08 May and close on Friday 05 June. Find out if your group is eligible, or apply online now. Click HERE to find out more information.



URGENT: Sign the petition to stop Environment Minister Sussan Ley rushing through damaging changes to our Environment Laws.

Just months after more than a billion animals died in the bushfires1, Environment Minister Sussan Ley has announced she wants to rush through changes to Australia’s environmental protections2.

If passed, these changes could threaten every endangered species in this country.

Environment Laws are already too weak. By the government’s own admission biodiversity has plummeted since they were implemented.

It’s a safe bet that mining corporations and developers are putting pressure on Minister Ley, and there’s every chance these changes will be bad news for our wildlife.

We can’t let this happen – but things are moving fast. Morrison just announced Parliament will sit next month4, so we need to move now to make sure these potentially disastrous changes don’t pass.

Can you stand with Australia’s endangered wildlife and demand Minister Ley not rush through damaging changes to our Environment Laws?

Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate of any country in the world5. Drought, floods, fires and climate change. And a government intent on putting polluters and big business ahead of our wildlife, planet and people.


Marine Carers show your support for spider crabs and visit the  campaign site as referred to in the article below.

Spider crabs are marching into the bay, and divers want a fishing ban – The Age Newspaper – reporter Miki Perkins

Even now, as the water temperature starts to drop, they’re making a return.

If you peer into the waters of Port Phillip Bay near Blairgowrie and Rye, holiday towns on the fringes of Melbourne, you might see dark shapes trundling across the sandy sea floor.

So far, the numbers of giant spider crabs in the bay are small but come mid-April, these hoary-backed crustaceans will congregate in the thousands ahead of their annual winter moult.

This phenomenon reached a global audience when it was featured on David Attenborough’s Blue Planet documentary series last year, drawing new visitors to the Mornington Peninsula.

But it has also made spider crabs a target for recreational fishers, leading to heated stand-offs last year between local divers and fishers who, in some cases, were hauling bucket-loads of crabs out of the water.

Divers and the state’s national park watchdog are calling for a halt to spider crab fishing during their critical moulting period. Failing that, they want a ban on fishing at piers and jetties, and a lower catch limit than the total 30 crabs.

AJ Morton, who owns peninsula diving business Dive2u, says there has been almost no research done on giant spider crabs. They come into the bay from locations unknown and aggregate (a “safety in numbers” manoeuvre) while they moult in the water off the peninsula and Geelong, as well as along the state’s ocean coastline.

Last year, when the spider crabs came into the shallows, people started dropping nets and taking bucketfuls, he said. Within days, “hundreds” of people came to catch the crabs.

 “It was extremely devastating to witness it, and you couldn’t do anything about it, it was legal,” Mr Morton says. “The netting of the crabs is one thing, but there was also damage to the pylons and sponge wall, and zip ties, lost nets, and general rubbish left behind.”

In 10 days, all of the giant crabs at Blairgowrie pier – estimated to be about 2000 – were gone, he said. The pier is one of the most-dived places in Melbourne because it has beautiful sponge walls on the underwater sections of the structure.

And now the crabs are back. There were some at Blairgowrie pier last week and divers have spotted others between Sorrento, Rye and Mud Island.

A petition on calls for action in response to last year’s “overfishing”: “We don’t want the main event fished, pure and simple. For the wellbeing of the crabs during their vulnerable period, and because there are flow-on tourism benefits for the Mornington Peninsula,” it says.

 Victorian Recreational Fishers executive officer Mike Burgess says everyone was caught by surprise when fishers started targeting the spider crabs last year.

For one thing, crabs don’t taste good when they are moulting, he says. They suck in lots of seawater as their new shell grows and their meat goes mushy and tasteless.

The association has been talking to its members and Mr Burgess is hopeful it will not be an issue this year.

“It has been a flash-in-the-pan type of thing that caught us by surprise, but we’re going to do some work to prepare for the migration and get good quality, fact-based information out to our fishers,” he said.

Dallas D’Silva, the director of fisheries management at Victorian Fisheries, said it would continue to monitor the fishery closely this year with patrols and further research. The recreational catch limit of one litre or a combined total of 30 crabs is unchanged.

“Fishing is confined to a small area and there is no sustainability concern,” he said. “Commercial fishers are also not targeting them, so the current controls mean lots of crabs get to moult.”


BECAN – Bayside Emergency Climate Action Network

Over the last few months Beth Jensen represented Marine Care Ricketts Point in an alliance of community groups (BECAN) based in the Bayside local government area that share a common vision of a safe climate for all in a healthy and sustainable environment.

Beth helped to prepare a comprehensive submission comprises ideas and proposals which the broad coalition of Bayside groups hope to see considered and adopted within the Bayside Climate Emergency Action Plan. It expands on the list of priorities identified by Council to date in its communications. Please click on the link below to see the full submission.



Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve Masterplan 2020

Council has adopted a new masterplan to guide the historic transformation of Elsternwick Park golf course into a natural oasis on our city’s doorstep. The new Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve will bring nature back into our urban area, providing refuge and tranquillity for both wildlife and people.

Key proposed elements include a ‘chain of ponds’, expanded wetlands, grassy woodland and visitor facilities such as indigenous gathering places and a gateway feature building at the northern end of the reserve adjacent to Nepean Highway. The plan has been strongly influenced by feedback from the broader community and a panel of community and Council/government agency members.

The Masterplan document is available here.


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”.




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.


 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  with researchers showing evidence of the extent of plastic pollution.



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













Reminder – Our October Beach Clean Is This Saturday!

When: Saturday, 1 March 2020, 11 am Where:  Beaumaris Life Saving Club, 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

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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

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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
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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

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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,
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Tangaroa Blue Foundation is coordinating Source Reduction Plan workshops – you are invited!

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
+ Read More

Posted in News | Leave a comment