Gippsland Lakes Ramsar Site

The Gippsland Lakes Ramsar Site is one of twelve wetlands listed under the Ramsar Convention in Victoria and is recognised for its significant coastal wetland values and features, including vital habitat for migratory bird species. The Gippsland Lakes Ramsar Site supports other crucial ecosystem services including nationally and internationally threatened wetland species, waterbird breeding and fish spawning sites. The Gippsland Lakes are also an important tourism destination for the region, supporting commercial and recreational fisheries, boating, camping and general visitation activities.

Gippsland Lakes Ramsar Site Boundary Map

Managing such a large and complex natural system requires a strategic approach to direct government and community resources. The Gippsland Lakes Ramsar Site Management Plan (GLRSMP) provides the framework to protect the environmental values of the Gippsland Lakes to maintain the ecological character of the Ramsar site, as required under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

The GLRSMP outlines key management strategies for the site based around five key themes:

Little terns breeding site

1. Maintaining and restoring habitats

Green and golden bell frog in Heart Morass

2. Protecting fauna

Pied oystercatcher and chick feeding in mud flats

3. Managing nutrients and sediments

Aerial view of the outer barrier showing the Gippsland Lakes and 90-mile beach

4. Managing water regimes

Pelican rookery

5. Integrating Aboriginal knowledge and management

The GLRSMP also identifies management strategies to address critical knowledge gaps which were identified by stakeholders during the development of the plan.

As the Ramsar Site Coordinator, it is the role of the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (EGCMA) to coordinate the implementation of the GLRSMP with regional delivery partners. The GLRSMP documents the management and monitoring strategies required to protect, monitor and maintain the ecological character of the Gippsland Lakes Ramsar site.

To learn more about the Ramsar Convention and the Gippsland Lakes Ramsar Site, please see a list of resources below:

Renewal of the Gippsland Lakes Ramsar Site Management Plan

The East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority is renewing the Gippsland Lakes Ramsar Site Management Plan. The GLRSMP establishes the framework for the maintenance of the site’s unique ecological character through conservation and wise use.

The current plan is seven years old and there has been significant progress in our understanding of the ecological character of the Gippsland Lakes, threats to ecological character, and the strategic direction and management of Ramsar wetlands in Victoria.

A consultative and collaborative process is underway to review and update the GLRSMP. We are working with the responsible agencies, Traditional Owners, technical experts, and other stakeholders to review and analyse available data and evidence. This information will be used to inform the draft GLRSMP.

Ramsar Site Plan – Have Your Say!

The Draft Gippsland Lakes Ramsar Site Management Plan 2023-28
is now ready for your feedback.

View the Plan and have your say by 11.59pm on Friday 19 January 2024.

The following diagram provides a timeline for the renewal of the GLRSMP.

An update on the first stage of the renewal process will be provided here. This includes an update on the status of management strategies in the 2015 GLRSMP, progress made to date against the 20-year aspirational targets and the process undertaken to update the risk assessment.

We acknowledge the Gunaikurnai people, Traditional Owners of the land and waters of the Gippsland Lakes and pay our respects to their Elders, past and present. In particular, we pay tribute to the Brayakaulung, Brabralung and Tatungalung clans, whose intrinsic connection and custodianship of Country continue to be a vital element of the heritage, knowledge and future management of the Gippsland Lakes. Learn more about Gunaikurnai Country here.