A more strategic approach to natural resource management continues to guide and prioritise Barwon Coast efforts in protecting the values of our natural environment. The 2013 Barwon Coast Vegetation Management Plan guides our coastal reserves team in the development of their works programs. The detailed plan supports Barwon Coast volunteers and contractors on targeting high priority projects. The Vegetation Management Plan principles aim to reduce pest plant cover along our coast to less than 5% over a 10 year period.

Pest plants enter the reserves from seeds being transferred by birds, domestic animals, people’s shoes, cars, bikes, the rain and the illegal dumping of garden waste. Local residents planting local indigenous plants in their gardens will assist us in expanding habitat values across the landscape, and will minimise the amount of introduced garden plants escaping into our natural environment. To date we have recognised in total 152 exotic plants; 52 that pose a serious threat and of which 11 are from other parts of Australia.

A thorough assessment across the sand dune system has identified areas of good quality diverse flora that strategically have been given priority protection. To date a total of 121 local indigenous plants have been recorded. Eight of these plants are of National and State conservation significance; being Coast Wirilda, Rare-bitter Bush, Creeping Coast Tussock Grass, Marsh Saltbush, Coast Fescue, Austral Lotus, Salt Fireweed and Coast Twin Leaf. There are 35 plants recognised as Regionally significant and 77 plants of local conservation significance.

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