A new Victorian Government funded project will assess the environmental effects of climate change along the Port Phillip Bay coastline, to help land managers understand the hazards they may face in future.

Led by CSIRO, the project will assess the extent of three key coastal hazards - inundation, coastal erosion, and groundwater change – under several climate change scenarios.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Project Manager, Dr Tamara van Polanen Petel said: “This project is an important piece of the puzzle in understanding what climate change means for Victoria’s natural and built environments.”

“We know that climate change is happening, and we know that it can create coastal hazards. What we don’t currently understand is the extent of those hazards and the kind of impacts we will see along the coastline,” Dr Petel said.

“Impacts such as roads flooding, beaches and cliffs eroding and inland waters becoming saltier may occur as a result of climate change.

“It’s important that this modelling work happens so that land managers, including government departments and councils, can consider how best to plan for, build and manage coastal areas in the years to come.”

The Port Phillip Bay Coastal Hazard Assessment is the fifth assessment of its kind in Victoria, with similar studies being completed for Westernport Bay, Port Fairy, Bellarine/Corio Bay and Gippsland Lakes/90 Mile Beach

To undertake the assessment, CSIRO will draw on myriad data from across government, industry and research sectors. The assessment will be completed in early 2020.

DELWP is working closely with 10 bay-area councils, Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water, the two Catchment Management Authorities on the Bay, the Association of Bayside Municipalities and Traditional Owners.