Header: Clean Bay Blueprint Microplastics Analysis

Clean Bay Blueprint

Clean Bay Blueprint is a three-year litter study conducted between July 2017 and June 2020. The project had three aims: to conduct rigorous and replicable methods to quantify plastic pollution through microplastics trawls and beach litter audits; to engage the community in citizen science actvities; and to build partnerships with other organisations that target litter and Bay health.
2.5 billion litter items flow into Port Phillip Bay  annually from the surface waters  of the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers.

Read the full Clean Bay Blueprint Report
Fam Charko with microplastics on trawl

"Port Phillip Bay is not like the ocean. The litter we find on bay beaches is ours and ours alone. It got there from the suburbs, via the waterways and is not likely to float away elsewhere on the next tide." 

- Fam Charko, Marine Biologist, Port Phillip EcoCentre

About the project

Plastic pollution is currently one of Victoria's largest threats to waterway health. It is a well-documented hazard to marine life in Port Phillip Bay as well as human health and the economy, including tourism. 

Clean Bay Blueprint sought to build on the previous success of our Litter Hotspots project, Turn off the Tap, by continuing litter research to provide sound scientific evidence to inform positive change for the environment, through:

  • Continuing our monthly microplastics trawls in the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers with the Yarra Riverkeeper Association. We built on 5.5 years worth of data. This type of research had never been done in Australia before.
  • Collaborating with community groups around the Bay to conduct Baykeeper Beach Litter Audits in 6 Baykeeper reference sites around the Bay.
  • Collaborating with Dolphin Research Institute, who conducted litter audits with school groups as part of education and data collection efforts and the RMIT Plastics Lab, who analysed caught microplastics for polymer type.
  • Contributing to the Victorian Litter Action Alliance goals by acting as a community member on their reference group.

"The findings from this report highlight that we need to tackle the issue upstream, before plastics degrade and fragment and become harder, economically and logistically, to remove."

- Yarra Riverkeeper Association

Andrew Kelly (Yarra Riverkeeper) with Neil Blake (Port Phillip Baykeeper)

Media and Previous Reports

Partners & Funders

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The project was sponsored by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, via the Port Phillip Bay Fund.

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We thank the Yarra Riverkeeper Association and Dolphin Research Institute for partnering with us on this project.

Boon Wurrung Foundation Logo 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.