Located off the coast of Williamstown, Victoria adjacent to the former Merrett Rifle Range, the Jawbone Marine Sanctuary covers an area of 30 hectares. Jawbone Marine Sanctuary protects a unique community of mangroves and saltmarsh considered unusual for their growth amongst basalt rocks. The marine flora and fauna are significant as a scientific reference area and have been protected for 110 years during the operation of the Merrett Rifle Range. The intertidal areas and coastal vegetation provide important habitat for migratory and local seabirds and shorebirds.
The sanctuary’s tranquility and wide variety of coastal habitats are enjoyed and cherished
by the local community and visitors. The strong maritime history of Williamstown is
evident through remnant shipwrecks in the sanctuary waters.
The care of Jawbone Marine Sanctuary is not a task for the government alone, nor just for
those who live nearby. It is a task for the whole Victorian community. The Jawbone Marine Sanctuary Care Group is involved in a number of projects including seagrass monitoring, habitat mapping, development of a photographic inventory of all species within the Sanctuary, sub-tidal monitoring and education activities.