/ Community Programs / Port Phillip Baykeeper / Community Rapid Response Teams

Community Rapid Response Teams

About the Project

Northern Pacific sea stars (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.

The EcoCentre aims to establish 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 will provide education and practical, hands-on engagement opportunities in environmental volunteering. 

For more information, download the project brief.


Please fill out this form to record your interest in joining a NPS Rapid Response Team in your local area. We will be in touch once we are ready to set up the teams.

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.