One of our most amazing teenage interns registered for a snorkelling trip with us a few years back. She ticked the boxes YES: she wanted to snorkel and YES: she can swim. Only aboard the boat did we discover her one swimming style was ... backstroke! Lesson one: specificity is important. Lesson two: snorkel-friendly waters and reefs are an Aussie blessing... like me, this young woman grew up on another continent without the familiar water culture afforded to us in Melbourne. The EcoCentre's first strategy is to CONNECT people to place; even those of us who grew up locally are often startled and overjoyed to be shown the nature hidden all around us - whether edible weeds, baby falcons atop skyscrapers, or what our Bay looks like underwater.  

Perhaps this summer's most joyful program is Alive Outside for 12-25 year olds - I dare you not to grin listening to euphoric first-time snorkellers Elissa and Preksha testify! (< Click to watch)

It's time to stop cigarette butts from clogging our Bay, no buts about it!
Port Phillip Baykeeper Neil Blake recently spoke with Sally Williams and Denis Walter on 3AW about the effect cigarette butts are having on the Port Phillip Bay, and the scale of pollution in our catchments. 350,000 cigarette butts enter our Bay every day - and most of them from our streets. Listen to Neil's interview with Sally and Denis to learn more about this issue, and how street litter ultimately feeds into our Bay. 
St Joseph's Primary School saved $20,000 when installing a raingarden!
The Living Water Workbees program has allowed St Joseph's Primary School (Elsternwick) to install rainwater tanks and a raingarden of indigenous plants, funded through the Victorian Government’s Port Phillip Bay Fund. 85% of St Joseph's water usage is now supplied from their tanks; during heavy rain, stormwater is slowed and filtered by the gardens before flowing to our Bay. Read more about their success here!
We've had an amazing summer of Alive Outside activities, where over 50 youth joined us on activities ranging from snorkelling safaris in Port Phillip Bay, pre-historic adventures through the St Kilda of millions of years ago, and caring for the colony of 1,600 penguins who now call St Kilda home.
Our next Alive Outside activities will be happening in March 2019 - stay tuned for more information on Facebook or our website!

Alive Outside is provided in partnership with the City of Port Phillip for youth aged 12-25 in the City of Port Phillip
Volunteering at the EcoCentre is always exciting - whether you're managing venue bookings as an admin volunteer, watering our community garden on an evening that suits you, or coming along for our weekly Garden Group and meeting Costa from Gardening Australia!

Interested in volunteering with us? Come along to one of our upcoming induction dates to get started - we can't wait to see you!
19th Feb, 6:30pm | 8th Mar, 10:30am |
20th Mar, 6:30pm
Our thoughts on drought, fish kills and the Murray-Darling Basin
With recent news of hundreds of thousands of dead fish and dry riverbeds across the Murray-Darling Basin, Waterkeepers across Victoria have collaborated to explore the current state of the Murray-Darling Basin. April Seymore (Executive Officer, Port Phillip EcoCentre) and Neil Blake (Port Phillip Baykeeper) joined John Forrester (Werribee Riverkeeper) and Andrew Kelly (Yarra Riverkeeper) to publish this fascinating article on Australia's largest river basin. 
Read our article

Cool & compelling

Mark your diary

• Fri 8 Feb - Sun 10 Feb - Port Phillip Bay Nurdle Hunt. Head out to your local beach, creek or river and see if you can spot any nurdles any time over the weekend of February 8-10th! Find out more about how you can track the nurdles you spot.
• Sun 10 Feb 2-5pm - St Kilda Repair Cafe, at the EcoCentre. Don't toss it - let our volunteer fixers make it as good as new. FREE.
• Sat 16 Feb 12:30-4pm - The Great Summer Clothes Swap, Malvern Town Hall. Start 2019 with a fresh new look - swap out your once loved clothes for gently used fashion items. Swap up to five quality items, hear from ethical fashion experts and enjoy hands-on activities.
• Sat 16 Feb 5-9pm - Bikes, Burgers and Beers with MBTC. Join MBTC for a ride along the Maribyrnong River, stopping for a feed along the way! Registrations essential.
• Mon 18 Feb - Applications for Community Grants (City of Port Phillip) open. The 2019/20 round for community grant applications will run until Monday 8th April. Workshops will also be running.
• Tues 19 Feb 6:30-7:30pm - EcoCentre Volunteer Induction (Evening Session). Interested in volunteering with the EcoCentre? This is your first step - can't wait to have you join the EcoCentre vollie family!
• Fri 8 Mar 10:30-11:30am - EcoCentre Volunteer Induction. Interested in volunteering with the EcoCentre? This is your first step - can't wait to have you join the EcoCentre vollie family!
• Wed 20 Mar 6:30-7:30pm - EcoCentre Volunteer Induction (Evening Session). Interested in volunteering with the EcoCentre? This is your first step - can't wait to have you join the EcoCentre vollie family!
• Fri 29 Mar 8:30am - Steps to Sustainability Conference. Save the date - this conference will showcase how teachers are using sustainability to support the Victorian Curriculum and how schools are implementing the ResourceSmart Schools program and United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Presenter registrations are now open
• Sun 31 Mar 5-8pm - Melbourne SOUP #2. Melbourne SOUP is a micro-crowdfunding initiative celebrating and supporting entrepreneurial, community based and creative projects in Melbourne. Hear up to four pitches from individuals, community groups, artists, social entrepreneurs and more talking about projects that will benefit the city, while having a bowl of soup. Register here.
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