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.
How the project will help protect the Bay
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.
Join your local Rapid Response Team
Get in touch with Fam if you’re interested in joining your local Rapid Response Team.
This project is funded by the Port Phillip Bay Fund