News and Updates.
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still proceeding with VCAT applications regarding 92 Elizabeth Ave in Tootgarook Swamp, with application P2038/2015 now withdrawn and P2704/2015 set for a hearing in June.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...
2015 November 21st-
Big news update...
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 are occurring during this period and we are busy preparing for these and as such this years AGM will be brief.
So we’d like to invite all our members and public to RSVP (email@example.com) to join us at our upcoming Annual General Meeting Saturday, 28th November 2015 at 4pm.
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.
Also, can you help preserve threatened species in the Tootgarook Swamp and become a Defender of Biodiversity.
The federally protected Australasian Bittern in the Tootgarook Swamp is in imminent threat at 92 Elizabeth Ave as planning applicant has issued a “failure to determine” to the Shire and triggered a VCAT process.
This is heart-breaking news -- but we have a plan.
Save Tootgarook Swamp has filed an application in Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to carry out native vegetation which VCAT had ordered corporate developers Watermark Villages to do in April 2011.
Instead Watermark have managed to evade compliance with a requirement to restore and maintain the site for 10 years while playing “ping pong” with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council over approval of a Revegetation Plan that was meant to be made within 120 days of the order.
The application by Save Tootgarook Swamp is unique in that it seeks to allow someone other than the Council to carry out native revegetation work ordered by VCAT where a developer like Watermark fails to comply.
See the front page of the of the Southern Peninsula News edition 3/11/2015.
Meanwhile this world class wetland site of State significance has been left to languish for the past 4 years.
Sadly however without protection all this is under imminent threat due to the unlicensed and illegal slashing and cropping of native vegetation by these short-term, profit-driven, out of-town developers with no regard for the long-term impacts this has not only on the local community but for all future generations of Victorians as well.
We can make this happen though we are kindly seeking donations to help gather enough money to afford the huge amount of research, barristers and legal fees we need to defend our biodiversity.
We're confident this can be a strong legal challenge. “By making this application to VCAT we hope to break the impasse and carry out the urgently needed native revegetation works ourselves based on our extensive local knowledge and our comprehensive Tootgarook Swamp Management Guidelines”.
Every contribution gets us closer to raising what we need to finish strong and garner further protection for the entire Tootgarook Swamp and it’s biodiversity.
Could you help by donating via PayPal, check, money order or electronic funds transfer.
Please make cheques or money orders out to "Save Toogarook Swamp Inc" and post to:
Save Tootgarook Swamp
C/O 116 Elizabeth Ave
Victoria, Australia 3940
For electronic funds transfer, you can use our account details:
Save Tootgarook Swamp
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
BSB: 06 3540
Account Number: 1058 2313
N.b. Unfortunately Save Tootgarook Swamp Inc. doesn't have Deductible Goods Recipient tax status, with the organisation only having a G.S.T exemption.
Sign our petition also if you haven’t already for our long running campaign to Save, Protect, and Rezone Tootgarook Swamp on the Mornington Peninsula.
A massive thank you to all those who have donated so far from the Save Tootgarook Swamp Team.
Finally Save Tootgarook Swamp has just finished submitting public comments to the EPBC refferal of 92 Elizabeth Ave
EPBC ref: 2015/7603) These close on the 24th of November 2015.
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.