News and Updates.
2016 July 23rd-
It’s been a busy year for Save Tootgarook Swamp Inc. as we’ve continued with our efforts to preserve and protect the Tootgarook Swamp.
Now it’s time to celebrate and discuss our successes and projects of the past year and also to plan out our activities for the next year with our members.
Many legal activities related to the Tootgarook Swamp have occurring during this period and we have spent a significant period of time on this. The AGM will be brief debrief of this.
So we’d like to invite all our members and public to RSVP (firstname.lastname@example.org) to join us at our upcoming Annual General Meeting Saturday, 27th August 2016 at 10AM.
Vern Wright Reserve, Rosebud West.
If you wish to join us for a BBQ at the conclusion we ask that you RSVP as we have limited space.
2016 July 15th-
An update from our facebook page - The 7 day VCAT hearing for the wetland development proposal has now turned into an 8 day hearing with a final day scheduled for 29 July to hear the applicants closing submissions and then go through right of reply and conditions and so forth. Not surprising really that it has needed so many days with so many issues at stake in regards to the development and the sensitive wetland environment and the additional complexities of outstanding illegal clearance, landfill proximity, flooding etc. Has been an intense 7 days of hearings with submissions, expert witnesses and cross examinations and we have very much appreciated the huge support, many donations and the many kind words of encouragement from the community which has made the process that much easier to accomplish. We look forward to keeping you posted as things progress and especially ask that you keep sharing the word out about the wetlands plight to as many as possible because it needs the voices of a great many if we are going to turn this thing around and get things going in the right direction for this very valuable wetland and its many inhabitants.
2016 June 13th-
We have two press releases, one about a special connection to the Riverina and the other about Tuesdays upcoming VCAT case.
See the following attachments.
Once Shy, Bittern from Rice.pdf
A risk like no Other.pdf
2016 March 10th-
Some good news a group of 11 Southern Emu Wrens have been seen and photographed in the Tootgarook Swamp, it is the first time they have been spotted since April 2014, great thing to know that they are still around.
On the other flip side.
We are still proceeding with VCAT applications regarding 92 Elizabeth Ave in Tootgarook Swamp, with application P2038/2015 now withdrawn and P2704/2015 set for a hearing in June.
There is also another case P2192/2015 regarding an incomplete and unimplemented enforcement order, we hope to have a media release on this soon.
2015 December 13th-
It’s still being a busy year for Save Tootgarook Swamp Inc. currently we are involved in to separate VCAT cases for the Tootgarook Swamp P2038/2015 and P2192/2015, we have also submitted comments for an EPBC referral of 2015/7603.
At the same time another organisation has proposed the renaming of Rosebud West to Capel Sound. All local residents are being mailed out about this proposal. We view this proposal as premature considering all the work being undertaken as part of the Ramsar nomination process underway for the Tootgarook Swamp.
See our Facebook post for more details...
What is the Tootgarook Swamp?
Click to enlarge
The Tootgarook Swamp, or Boneo Swamp, as it is sometimes referred, is a Ground Water Dependent Ecosystem and the largest example left of an Shallow freshwater marsh in the Port Phillip bay and Western Port region.
The swamp exists on organosols soils (fibric peat), and as a peat regenerating wetland it is the most threatened form of wetland type internationally.
Peat regenerating wetlands are a major carbon storehouse, exceeding that of forests, and are worthy of international Ramsar protection.
In fact one could argue that the Tootgarook swamp matches the description of a in fact a fen.
A fen is a wetland system with a permanently high water level at or just below its surface. It’s principal source of nutrients is from surface or groundwater, and the substrate is an alkaline to slightly acidic peat soil. The vegetation is usually dominated by sedges.
Similar to "The Fens" in England there are a few hills, which have historically been called "islands" as they remained dry when the low-lying swamp around them were became inundated by ground water.
The 381 hectare swamp is found on the lower section of the Mornington Peninsula, called the Nepean Peninsula in Victoria, Australia.
Unfortunately a large portion of the Tootgarook Swamp is inappropriately zoned as residential and industrial, with roughly half of the actual swamp inside the green wedge and half within the urban growth boundary.
Currently approximately 77 hectares is marked for future development proposals totalling almost a quarter of the entire swamp. After another almost 3 hectares was lost to a housing subdivision infill recently.
There are only 4% of total wetlands left in Victoria that are greater than 100 hectares, and of the original wetlands in Victoria, we have already lost over 37% in the last 200 years.
Of the 100% of shallow fresh water marshes in Victoria, 60%  have been destroyed.
Australia is the most arid continent in the world, yet we still drain and fill our wetlands.
Wetlands are considered the most biologically diverse of all the planets ecosystems, but despite this they are still being destroyed at an alarming rate.
Wetlands are described as the interface between land and marine ecosystems and are known as the cradle of diversity, existing on all continents globally (including Antarctica recently discovered), essentially wetlands are a biodiversity super lab.
A wetland is like a snowflake. No two wetlands can be the same as they will not have the same conditions. There are many ingredients that add to these conditions, like the PH or alkalinity of water, soil types, climate, land shape, geology, water seasonality, atmospheric precipitation cycle, and salinity. All these ingredients combine in many different ways to create a unique genetic diversity seen only in wetland environments and specially balanced and suited to the species that inhabit it.
A healthy biodiverse ecosystem in wetlands like Tootgarook Swamp provide a number of benefits. These benefits are known as ecosystem services like;
The cost of replacing these (if possible) would be extremely expensive. It therefore makes economic and development sense to protect our wetlands like Tootgarook Swamp so they can continue to provide for us and the planet for generations to come.
Save Tootgarook Swamp is dedicated to fighting for the continued protection of the Tootgarook Swamp catchment and its unique biodiversity values, and strongly believes in the Ramsar convention's context of the Wise use of Wetlands.
So please support our campaign to help protect this precious swamp for future generations by signing the petition on the community run website.
and we hope you have a look around the website and it other page resources.
 IPCC http://www.ipcc.ie/a-to-z-peatlands/fens/
 Department Environment and Primary Industry http://www.nre.vic.gov.au/plntanml/biodiversity/directions
Newsletters and Downloads
Wetland Fact Sheets produced by the Ramsar convention of Wetlands with information on the benefits of wetlands, their alarming loss, wise use of wetlands, and what you can do as an individual.
2015 3rd AGM.ppsx
Biosphere Connector, Issue 4 Jan - Mar 2015.pdf
2014 2nd AGM.ppsx.
'WHY IS TOOTGAROOK SWAMP IMPORTANT AND NEEDS SAVING?'Flyer.pdf
Guidelines for the Greater Tootgarook Swamp Final Version 2014 June.pdf
'Help Preserve Australia's Wetlands'
A0 biodiversity poster.pdf
2013 1st AGM (Very large file).ppsx.