Our history and purpose

Swan Bay is a wetland of national and international significance. From its beginnings in 1988, the Swan Bay Environment Association has worked with the community to protect Swan Bay. We investigate, educate and act to build community awareness and active support for protecting this very special part of the world.

Our Prime Objective

To ensure that Swan Bay remains in its natural state thus maintaining:

  • its recognised international significance as a wetland
  • its international reputation as a bird sanctuary and habitat involving many migratory birds
  • it as a nursery for fish
  • the sea grasses of Swan Bay as an important assembly of flora which form the basis for the biological processes of Swan Bay, including fish breeding
  • the flora of the adjacent land which exhibits characteristics of a typical salt marsh shoreline environment and are an important habitat for the endangered orange-bellied parrot
  • it as a remnant of an earlier ecological system of Port Phillip
  • Swan Bay and environs as an unpolluted dynamic estuarine system.

Our History

In 1988 a group of dedicated academics from Deakin University formed the Swan Bay Research Group to raise awareness of the importance of Swan Bay and the need for its protection. Calling themselves the Swan Bay Protection Association, they held a public meeting at Queenscliff’s Uniting Church Hall in June of that year. By November the Association had become officially Incorporated as the Swan Bay Environment Association – the main statement in the Purposes was ‘to ensure that Swan Bay and its environs are not damaged by inappropriate and insensitive developments’.

In 1989 the group was instrumental in developing, with the Department of Conservation and Environment Victoria, the ‘Proposed Management Plan: Swan Bay Marine and Wildlife Reserves’. This document was launched by the Department in January 1991.

By 1991 the Association was almost in recession, as most of the original members had retired. With support from the original members, a new Committee was elected and a structure of subcommittees, specific projects and community educational activities commenced. The focus was the protection of Swan Bay and on weeding and planting within the Borough of Queenscliffe.

In 1997 some of the members negotiated with the Borough Council to start a small indigenous nursery at the waste depot on the edge of Swan Bay. This was to become the Swan Bay Indigenous Nursery, which was relocated to 79 Nelson Road Queenscliff in 2002. It is now called the Queenscliffe Indigenous Nursery and is operated by the Swan Bay Environment Association.