The project: The National Centre for Coasts and Climate (University of Melbourne), in partnership with the Association of Bayside Municipalities (ABM) and Parks Victoria are working with councils and community groups around Port Phillip Bay to assess and reduce impacts of night-time lighting on marine and coastal animals.
Light pollution is one of the most pervasive forms of global environmental change yet is largely unregulated.
This project aims to:
- assess the pervasiveness of artificial light at night along the foreshores and coastal waters of Port Phillip Bay;
- monitor the impact of this pollutant on marine and coastal animals; and
- identify actions for coastal land managers to reduce these impacts.
- In additional to the monitoring and assessment of light pollution, a series of events will be held throughout the project. Involving local government and community groups, events aim to build knowledge and capability to action wildlife-friendly lighting around the Bay and across Victoria.
- Event (ABM Councils): commence project with forum to building knowledge and awareness of impacts of street lighting on marine and coastal animals. Working with the ABM Member Councils, identify suitable pilot sites for the study around the Bay. (Lead: ABM. July 2023)
- Monitoring and assessment: deployment of light loggers to assess impacts at pilot sites. Biodiversity monitoring with infra-red camera and audio moths. (Lead: University of Melbourne)
- Identify actions: suite of actions for implementation at pilot sites. (Lead: University of Melbourne)
- Event (ABM Councils): online forum with ABM Member Councils to share outcomes of assessments and monitoring and explore potential actions. (Lead: ABM, June 2024)
- Field Trip (ABM Councils): event for ABM Member Councils to share outputs / outcomes from assessments, monitoring and actions implemented. Launch video. (Lead: ABM, Feb 2025)
- Webinar event (land managers): online event for councils and land managers across Victoria (coastal and inland waterways) sharing outputs and outcomes of the Project to stakeholders beyond Port Phillip Bay - providing information on impacts of night-time lighting on marine and coastal animals and wildlife-friendly lighting actions. (Lead: ABM, Mar 2025)
- Webinar event (community): online event tailored to coastal community groups / committees of management around Port Phillip Bay, providing information about impacts of night-time lighting on marine and coastal animals and wildlife-friendly lighting actions. (Lead: ABM, April 2025)
- Year 1: Light pollution intensity mapped on nearshore reefs/foreshores at identified priority locations based on stakeholder input. Changes in marine and terrestrial communities measured in response to the intensity of light pollution.
- Year 2: Light pollution reduced in at least 5 sites around the Bay and the biological response measured. Raised awareness of the impact of artificial lighting on wildlife across coastal land managers and coastal community groups in Port Phillip Bay and across Victoria, including building knowledge and capacity to implement actions.
- Beyond: Outputs and outcomes will inform development of wildlife-friendly lighting guidelines.
Project partners: National Centre for Coasts and Climate (University of Melbourne), the Association of Bayside Municipalities and Parks Victoria.
Grant Fund: Port Phillip Bay Fund 2023