The Tootgarook Swamp is the largest example left of an Shallow freshwater marsh in the Port Philip bay region at 381 hectares it is worthy of international Ramsar protection.
Much of the Tootgarook swamp is inappropriately zoned as residential, and industrial with only half of it inside the green wedge.
Currently approximately 80 hectares is marked with present development proposals totalling almost a quarter of the entire swamp.
There are only 4% of total wetlands left in Victoria that are greater than 100 hectares.
Of the original wetlands in the state we have already lost over 37% in the last 200 years.
Of the 100% of shallow fresh water marshes in Victoria, 60% has been destroyed.
It has high cultural significance for the Bunurong / Boonerwrung people of the Kulin nation, as well as high scientific value as pointed out by Sir Frederick Chapman in 1919, Australia’s first nationally appointed palaeontologist and world authority in the field of ostropods, and close companion and co-worker with Sir Douglas Mawson. Sir Chapman personally visited and studied within Tootgarook Swamp where he catalogued numerous fossils and ostropod species not seen anywhere else but in Tasmania showing a link of a land bridge between the two states.
Tootgarook Swamp has so far recorded 129 bird species, 13 reptilian species, 9 amphibious frog species and 12 mammals, including 5 bats, no full survey of the entire has ever been done to show its true value, and much of the current data had collected during drought time.
It contains fifteen state, federal, and international protected species of fauna, along with another seven species listed as vulnerable. The majority of species threatened with extinction in Victoria are wetland dependant.
The swamp is also home to at least nine bioregional endangered plant communities.
The Tootgarook Swamp is a peat regenerating wetland, the most threatened type of wetland type internationally, as a peat regenerating wetland it is a major carbon storehouse, exceeding that of forests.
The Tootgarook Swamp acts as a natural water storage area and protects downstream properties along Chinamans Creek and Rosebud from extensive flooding with the developmental proposals reducing its natural water regime future flooding would most likely occur to these properties.