Check ‘clean beach’ report before going in for a swim THE Environment Protection Authority Victoria says beachgoers should check its forecasting service or sign up for its SMS service before going to the beach on the Mornington Peninsula this summer. EPA chief environmental scientist Dr Andrea Hinwood said the Beach Report, which came on stream last Sunday (1 December), provided information about water quality in Port Phillip. The service ends on the Labour Day weekend next March. The water quality report comes two weeks after South East Water warned that sewage spills into Tanto Creek may have polluted beaches south of Mills Beach, Mornington (“Beach warning” The News 26/11/19). “Our beaches are great places to visit, but they are also complex ecosystems. In certain conditions they can be home to types of bacteria that pose health risks to swimmers,” Dr Hinwood said. Dr Hinwood said more stringent water quality standards, being used for the first time this summer, would help ensure that EPA’s Beach Report was more protective of health. “The new standards take a precautionary approach to protecting public health. They rely on scientific studies linking microbial levels in water with the actual risk of illness,” she said.
“This is good news for swimmers and means they can have an even higher degree of confidence in our forecasts.” A common swimmer-related illness is gastroenteritis. Children, the elderly and people with vulnerable immune systems are at the highest risk of getting ill from water-borne germs. EPA’s forecasts for 36 Port Phillip beaches are published on the Yarra & Bay website, as well as on Twitter by following @EPA_Victoria. On the website people can also sign up to EPA’s free SMS service to receive a text when the water at selected beaches is forecast to have poor quality. Dr Hinwood said people should see a doctor if they have a suspected illness after swimming. The new water quality standards have been introduced as a result of the State Environment Protection Policy (SEPP) (Waters), which came into effect in 2018. Last year, Santa Casa (Queenscliff) beach was ranked the highest for good water quality in Port Phillip. Rosebud and Portsea were the only peninsula beaches included in the EPA’s top 10 cleanest beaches for last summer. Keith Platt
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Step carefully: Bluebottles littered Sorrento back beach last week. Picture: Gary Sissons
Ocean nomad arrives with a sting ARMADAS of the stinging bluebottle jellyfish (Physalia utriculus) have been washed up on the Mornington Peninsula’s ocean beaches and may soon be entering Port Phillip. The bluebottle, or Pacific manof-war, is an occasional visitor to Victorian beaches but more common in Sydney and further north. The wind and currents determine its journey before being brought ashiore by incoming tides. Wikipedia says bluebottles differ from other jellyfish in several ways.
PUBLIC NOTICE – FIREWORKS The Sorrento Portsea Chamber of Commerce Inc. will be displaying fireworks on the evening of Sunday, 8th December 2019. The fireworks will commence at dusk (or between 9 and 9.30pm) from the end of The Baths Pier (over the water), Sorrento Foreshore, Point Nepean Rd, Sorrento. The display forms part of the Sorrento Christmas Concert and is expected to last for approximately 5-10 minutes. It is requested that dogs are either kept indoors or restrained during this time.
Should you have any objections to this display, please contact the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Community & Special Events during office hours on 1300 850 600 or Tammie Winward of the Sorrento Portsea Chamber of Commerce outside of office hours on 0412 260 146.
The gas-filled float supports a number of specialised tentacles, which are actually members of a complicated colony. The individual members, or zooids, cooperate to form what looks like one jellyfish. Some zooids are specialised for stinging and capturing tiny fish and other marine animals, some eat the prey, while others reproduce. Up to 30,000 stings each year are reported along the east coast of Australia from Physalia with about 500 reported from Western Australia and
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South Australia. Treat a bluebottle sting by washing off remaining tentacles with saltwater and then rinsing the affected area with seawater to remove any invisible stinging cells. Immerse the stung area in hot water as the heat kills the protein in the venom. Studies have shown that 40 degrees Celsius will produce relief after 10 minutes. If the symptoms persist or for stings that cover a particularly large area, or across the throat and face, call 000.
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wholemedicine.com.au Southern Peninsula News
4 December 2019
Southern Peninsula News 3 December 2019