Jawbone Reserve is home to one of the few remaining areas of coastal saltmarsh around Port Phillip Bay. ‘Coastal saltmarsh’ is a term used for areas of the coast where salt-tolerant plants can thrive despite regular tidal inundation.
In the past, saltmarsh was often regarded as useless land and was cleared to allow development of maritime ports, recreational jetties and associated activities. This resulted in a significant reduction of coastal saltmarsh plant communities around Port Phillip Bay.
More recently, studies of coastal saltmarsh have shown that it is an important natural area for protecting the wildlife of our shorelines. These areas are used as feeding grounds for local and migratory birds, as nurseries for a wide range of marine animals and as ecosystems of significance in their own right.
One very important role for Friends of Williamstown Wetlands is to protect and manage the remnant saltmarsh at Jawbone Reserve. For the purposes of our Litter Hotspot Project, our volunteers have permission from Parks Victoria and Hobsons Bay City Council to work within the saltmarsh areas provided that no damage is done to the plants.