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Community Rapid Response Teams

About the Project

Northern Pacific seastars (NPS) are a nationally significant marine pest and a major threat to the marine ecosystems of Port Phillip Bay. Since 2019, several aggregations of NPS have appeared in different locations. This attracted widespread community concern but removal is often done by a handful of volunteers without regional strategy.

In 2022, the EcoCentre established a cross-sectoral network to facilitate rapid community responses to marine pest outbreaks, and activate and support Victorians in protecting the valuable marine environment that we love.

Early detection of marine pests is essential for their successful control. While preventing their arrival provides the most effective means of managing marine pests, knowledgeable volunteers actively protecting their local marine environment can provide a critical early warning of new pest introductions, as they are more likely to spot and report invasive species when they appear (e.g. the Asian shore crab, sea urchin barrens getting out of control).

Marine biosecurity is a shared responsibility across government, industry and the community; more people engaged and educated means more trained eyes on the areas and marine assets (such as piers and marine parks) we all love. This project is providing education and practical, hands-on engagement opportunities in environmental volunteering. 

For more information, download the project brief.


Get in touch with Sabrina if you’re interested in joining your local Rapid Response Team.

This project is funded by the Port Phillip Bay Fund  

The EcoCentre acknowledges the Kulin Nations, including the Yalukut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group, traditional owners of the land on which we are located.

We pay respects to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Elder members of our multicultural community.