Port Phillip Bay is the largest bay in Victoria, Australia. It is home to thousands of plant and animal species, and some 1.3 million people live along its coastline. The Bay and its coastline support a variety of activities, including water sports, recreation, commercial and recreational fishing, marine tourism, and shipping.

Like all coasts, Port Phillip Bay is vulnerable to coastal hazards. As sea levels rise, areas along the coast are likely to experience increased erosion, inundation, and groundwater change, which threaten the security of communities, assets and ecosystems.  With climate change increasing the frequency and severity of hazards and hazard events, it is important that we understand what this means in the Bay area, so that we can plan for adverse impacts on coastal communities.

To do this, we are working with CSIRO to carry out a coastal hazard assessment for Port Phillip Bay. This assessment is the first to look at the likely extent of inundation (flooding), groundwater change, and erosion for the Bay.

The Coastal Hazard Assessment will identify likely coastal hazard impacts around Port Phillip Bay through data analysis and modelling of a range of anticipated climate change scenarios.  The data generated through the assessment will be shared with land managers and the community, to help them consider climate change in their future planning.


Stage 1: Gap Analysis

Gathering and understanding existing information on coastal inundation, erosion and groundwater change for the Bay and identifying any critical gaps in data required to complete the hazard assessment.

Stage 2: Data Acquisition

Filling any critical data gaps by sourcing further data, or undertaking further research.

Stage 3: Coastal Hazard Assessment

Undertaking the hazard assessment by modelling future climate scenarios to define the extent of land around Port Phillip Bay expected to be threatened by inundation, shoreline and groundwater change.

Stage 4: Capacity Building

Integrating all the hazard data into decision support systems for the use of local and state governments, land managers and asset owners to help them make decisions and prepare for the future based on scientifically based information.

Commissioned by DELWP, the technical assessment will be carried out by a team headed up by CSIRO, with support from Federation University, MetOceans Solutions and several consultants.

DELWP is also working closely with the 10 bay-area councils, Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water, two catchment management authorities, the Association of Bayside Municipalities and Traditional Owners.

Key milestones include:

  • Late 2017 – Initial project planning commenced
  • July 2018 – Commenced collection of existing data and understanding data gaps
  • Jan 2019 – CSIRO commenced the gap analysis – a synthesis of relevant existing information/ data and identification of any critical gaps required to complete the hazard assessment
  • May 2019 – Summary of key findings from the gap analysis
  • Feb 2020 – Hazard assessment completed
  • June 2020 – project completed

Dataset/s and maps that will define the extent of land around Port Phillip Bay expected to be impacted by the coastal hazards of inundation, shoreline and groundwater change, as modelled under future climate scenarios.

    Project updates will be published here as they become available.

A state-wide assessment of erosion and inundation hazards resulting from future climate change scenarios was completed in 2017.  

Four pilot Local Coastal Hazard Assessments have been undertaken in Victoria

Page last updated: 08/03/19