In 1986 a proposal to substantially redevelop St Kilda harbour prompted Professor Mike Cullen of Monash University to visit the Breakwater.

The St Kilda Council had offered to commission Mike to provide a report on the penguins. He declined the offer but embarked on a long-term study of the colony.

Between 1986 and 1998 Mike conducted fortnightly trips to St Kilda Breakwater often finishing well after midnight. Always there to help, was Neil Blake from St Kilda council.

The Penguin study was the catalyst for the formation of Earthcare St Kilda. 

Earthcare members, many students, local residents, and international visitors were inspired by Mike’s commitment and belief that the best solutions are based on good science. TheStKilda Penguins On The Breakwater importance of collecting data to support this was paramount.

The study has continued since Mike passed away in 2001 and is coordinated by Earthcare St Kilda.

The work of Mike Cullen, Neil Blake and Earthcare St Kilda has had a major influence on the management of the breakwater and the neighbouring foreshore.