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Plants in Western Port


Mangroves are small trees with breathing roots that live between high and low tide. 

mangroves in Western Port

Quick facts

  • Fish, crabs and insects live in mangroves and are an important part of the marine food chain
  • Mangroves protect shorelines from wave erosion
  • Mangrove forests expand by creating their own soil from trapping sediments
  • Western Port is one the most southern places that mangroves occur

Help protect them

  • Avoid walking, riding or driving through mangrove areas
  • Take care when boating or fishing not to damage mangrove roots
  • Don't dump rubbish and litter in coastal areas

Download the mangroves factsheet for more information.


    Seagrass are flowering plants living completely submerged in salty water.

    seagrass at Western Port

    Quick facts

    • Seagrasses act as a nursery and refuge for small marine organisms, seahorses, juvenile whiting and crabs
    • Seagrasses form large meadows that stabilise the seabed and influence water quality
    • Soil erosion from the catchment can smother seagrass
    • Seagrasses absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen in daytime and the reverse occurs at night

    Help protect them

    • Reduce runoff and pollution from farming activities
    • Plant indigenous plants on banks to reduce erosion
    • Avoid anchoring and driving boats through seagrass beds at low tide

    Download the seagrass factsheet for more information.


    A saltmarsh relies on temporary saltwater inundation for its unique plant life.

    saltmarsh in Western Port

    Quick facts

    • Saltmarsh is extremely diverse with grasses, reeds, sedges, rushes and succulent herbs and shrubs
    • It provides nutrients for mussels, crabs, oysters and other shellfish
    • It is highly sensitive and can be easily damaged, with a slow recovery
    • It requires protection by mangroves to flourish

    Help protect them

    • Tread lightly when walking in a saltmarsh
    • Fence off saltmarsh from livestock
    • Don't take trail bikes or 4WDs into a saltmarsh area

    Download the saltmarsh factsheet for more information.

    Coastal woodlands

    Coastal woodlands provide habitat and assist with erosion control and water filtration.

    Rutherford Inlet flora

    Quick facts

    • Swamp paperbacks sit on the edge of swamps and provide shelter and food for bees and birds
    • Large gum trees over 100 years old form hollows for possums and birds

    Help protect them

    • Protect coastal woodlands on your property by fencing to prevent damage
    • Stay on designated paths when visiting bush reserves
    • Dispose of grass and plant cuttings in green waste bins for Council collection

    Download the coastal woodlands factsheet for more information.