Passionate volunteers and community spirit drew more than 9,000 Victorians to more than 250 free events during for the 20th anniversary of the 2016 Summer by the Sea program.

The Victorian Government this year supported Coastcare Victoria to deliver the popular annual program for families across greater Melbourne region, including those on Port Phillip Bay and the Mornington Peninsula.

Coastcare Victoria's Regional Facilitator Phil Wierzbowski said: "A big thanks particularly to the region's volunteers and communities that made this year's program a success. Their passion to drive and embrace these family friendly events goes a long way to keeping environmental protection front-of-mind for us all.

"Young and old alike flocked to more than 69 regional events, proving that Summer by the Sea  resonates as strongly as ever after two decades.

"The top three crowd favourites in the region were Wildlife Displays at Altona, Waterfront Festival events at Frankston, and Marine and Coastal Connections events at Dandenong Market.

"It showed us once again that families continue to embrace Summer by the Sea and highlights how much they like learning about local wildlife and habitats."

The 2016 program launched its own dedicated website www.summerbythesea.vic.gov.au that was a hit with users, who had an easily accessible way to find and book the events they were interested in.

Victoria's coastal environments are fragile and strongly affected by introduced plants, animals and human behaviours. These environments can be protected by responsible use and management, and the ongoing dedication of coastal volunteers whose efforts are celebrated in the Summer By The Sea program.

For the benefit of nature and people, large areas of the state's coasts and seas are managed as protected areas.

Summer by the Sea is a joint effort between volunteers, not-for-profits, landcare groups, land managers, small businesses and the Victorian Government.

Coastcare Victoria urged those with an interest in their local marine or coastal environment, to become a coastal volunteer and make a positive difference by contacting their local Coastcare Victoria facilitator.