As part of our Year 10 Geography studies on Coastal Management, our class participated in a fieldtrip where we explored the various environmental issues in Port Phillip Bay and learnt more about how our precious coastline is being managed. This allowed us to contemplate what else can be done to better manage the various environmental issues that exist at Sandringham Beach, Half Moon Bay and Mordialloc Beach. We examined how human activity and natural coastal processes (such as long shore drift and sand and wind erosion) affect our coastlines.
Using our fieldtrip booklet, our job was to record our findings through notes, annotations and photography so we could assess how the three environments have changed over time. We took photos of where crashing waves are slowly eroding the Red Bluff cliff face and how human activity is impacting on water quality, particularly at Sandringham.
To accompany our individual findings, we met with some of the foreshore managers from the Kingston Council at Mordialloc Beach who provided us with information on how they manage the effects of erosion and human activity in the three locations. The Foreshore Managers emphasised their duty in protecting and sustaining native and indigenous vegetation along the coast. Furthermore, they presented information on the important role buffer zones play in separating infrastructure and residential areas from the coast. Our class also learnt more about a process called revetment, where rock groynes on the foreshore are replaced overtime because of erosion.
Port Phillip Bay is a self-sustaining ecosystem, however, there are many issues posed by the presence of sea trawlers from overseas. As we found out, large ships from foreign areas discharge ballast water which introduces the bay to new species, one being the Northern Pacific Seastar which is severely impacting marine life in the area.
We then returned to Salesian ready with the information we needed to begin our next work requirement, a formal report detailing the use of the coastlines and the management of the locations visited using our research from geographical software called ‘GeoPlanner’ and our fieldtrip notes.
Written by Connor Hodinj (10D) and Adarsh Rao (10G)