Save Tootgarook Swamp

Save Tootgarook Swamp is dedicated to fighting for the continued protection of the Tootgarook Swamp catchment (VIC) and its unique biodiversity values, and strongly believes in the Ramsar convention's context of the Wise use of Wetlands


What is the Tootgarook Swamp? 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.[1] 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 approximate 590 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.

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. The Tootgarook Swamp is no different since European settlement,considerable land use changes have altered the landscape, reducing the wetland area from an estimated 1,500 hectares to approximately 650 hectares. Of the 100% of shallow fresh water marshes in Victoria, 60% [2] 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;
Protection of water resources
Soils formation and protection
Nutrient storage and recycling
Pollution breakdown and absorption
Contribution to climate stability
Maintenance of ecosystems
Recovery from unpredictable events

Ecosystem services also include biological resources as well such as;
Medicinal resources and pharmaceutical drugs
Breeding stocks, population reservoirs
Future resources
Diversity in genes, species and ecosystems
Social benefits, such as
Research, education and monitoring
Recreation and tourism
Cultural Values

That is quite a lot of services we get for free! 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.

Save Tootgarook Swamp Incorporated hereby resolve to achieve the continued protection of the Tootgarook swamp catchment and its unique biodiversity values. The group became incorporated on the 6th of September 2012 under the Victorian Governments Incorporation Act of 1981.

Note: This descriptive text was copied from the Group's website. Some website links may no longer be active.

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Website: Save Tootgarook Swamp