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  Victoria's Marine Parks and Sanctuaries    

Education and Interpretation for Victoria's Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries
Mark Rodrigue, Education and Interpretation Officer - Marine, Parks Victoria
from e-Undercurrents Feb 03

Background Information

On November 16th 2002 Victoria became the first jurisdiction anywhere in the world to legislate for a system of highly protected marine areas that are now Victoria's Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries.

The determination of where these areas would be located and the management conditions under which they would operate has involved extensive community and industry consultation throughout the last ten years, and is based on scientific research and best management practices from around the world.

The establishment of Victoria's system of Marine National Parks and Sanctuaries now fully protects 5.3% of Victoria's coastal waters, compared to 0.05% previously. Victoria's new Marine National Park's system will help ensure the protection of its unique and diverse underwater environments through a representative system similar to the way of protection in terrestrial national parks.

A wide diversity of habitats has been protected through the establishment of Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries including kelp forests sponge gardens, sandy plains, saltmarshes and mangroves, mudflats and seagrass meadows.

Marine National Parks have a wide range of uses, benefits and values, including scientific research, education, conservation, recreation and tourism, and fisheries management. Recreational activities that are compatible with long term marine conservation will be encouraged.

The Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries are highly protected areas that do not allow any forms of extractive activity such as mining or fishing, and are to be managed to ensure protection of natural and cultural values of these areas.

Victoria's marine state emblem, the Weedy Seadragon,
can be found in the new Marine National Parks
(Photo: Bill Boyle)

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Background Information
Where are Victoria's Marine National Parks & Marine Sanctuaries?
Education & Interpretation Programs in Marine National Parks & Marine Sanctuaries
Education: Principles for a well informed and supportive community
Marine National Park Online Resources
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