Wetlands at Coolart and their Interpretation

Coolart is an 85 hectare Crown Reserve situated near the shores of Western Port at Somers. It is managed by a Committee of Management of community and Government representatives for Conservation and Education Purposes.

Coolart’s wetlands comprise several shallow, artificial impoundments and an undisturbed estuarine system of tidal creeks, salt marsh and reed beds. 176 species of birds, including about 60 associated with wetlands, have been recorded.

Amongst other attractions, facilities have been established for public use and enjoyment of wetlands and wetland wildlife. A system of walking trails and ‘hides’ has been developed to allow public access to wetlands with total exclusion in some areas and close approach in others. An innovative approach is taken to interpretation of wetlands, which relies on personal communication rather than on signage, displays and audio-visuals. All conservation interpretation aims to demonstrate the importance, quantitatively and qualitatively, of habitat, rather than of individual species. Furthermore, Coolart’s long history of wetland development provides opportunities for the interpretation of the cultural aspects of wetlands and human interaction with wetlands.


Conference paper


This was one paper presented at a multi-day event held in March 1993: “Optimum Use of Our Water Resources for Parks and Recreation”. See separate catalogue entry for other papers.
The annotations are in the handwriting of Chairperson and Editor Trevor Arthur.


Yorke, Steve (Author)


Royal Australian Institue of Parks and Recreation – Victorian Region: 1993


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