Every summer my extended family spends time camping at Port Phillip Bay, simply known as ‘The Bay’. Geographically, the bay covers 1,930 square kilometres (480,000 acres) and the shore stretches roughly 264 km (164 miles), providing a wonderful summer playground for many Melbournians.
We love the bay and its ever shifting moods, skies and tides. Storms are exciting; sunsets are to be witnessed and documented. The bay provides space for private reflection when melancholia descends. On hot airless nights when it’s too difficult to sleep, the shoreline affords a cooler sandy space to while away the hours. Daytime brings children and families to play and dig sand castles on the emerging tidal sand bars, older children learning how to snorkel or body surf in safe, lagoon like warm water. On gusty days, wind surfers and kite surfers arrive in vast numbers.
Over the years, environmental concerns have been raised about the delicate nature of our beautiful bay. The EPA monitors water quality, land care groups work to protect the creeks and natural flora and fauna along the shore, old invasive practices, such as groyne installation, have thankfully gone out of mode. Bay lovers are more aware than in days gone by, about the importance of sea grasses and protection of native flora. Fish species are monitored and catch limits imposed. The bay has a healthy stock of pinkies, snapper, flathead, and whiting. Removal of shellfish such as pippies, is an offence.
One environmental pest we would like to see removed is the Jet Ski. Our national icon, Leunig, poet and cartoonist, puts it this way:
– Michael Leunig –
Ode To A Jet-Ski Person was written by Michael Leunig and comes from Poems 1972-2002, published by Viking
Thanks Ailsa, from Where’s My Backpack for another engaging Saturday morning travel theme, Environment.