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Save Coastal Wetlands

Our Wetlands Are On Life Support 

Wetlands are critical to the ecological health of our coasts. From mangrove forests teeming with life to the estuaries, lagoons, rivers, marshes and lakes up and down the coast – wetlands provide critical habitat to an incredibly diverse array of life, plant, human and animal.

Coastal wetlands purify the water. They are the world's predominant carbon sinks and they act as a buffer against extreme weather events. Wetlands contribute to lifestyle, tourism and the economy of coastal communities, and are vital to Aboriginal communities’ cultural and social connection to Country.

Wetlands act as a buffer against extreme weather events such as floods, slowing down water and acting as massive sponges, holding water in the landscape. Mangroves absorb the battering waves of angry, storming seas and coastal wetlands reduce wave energy by up to 71%, keeping our coastal communities safe.

 

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What threats are wetlands facing? 

Wetlands in NSW face a barrage of threats, including climate change, inappropriate development, overfishing and disturbance from agriculture, mining and invasive species.

The laws that are meant to protect wetlands are failing - local councils and the State Government are still arguing over who is responsible for their protection. Meanwhile, developers are raking in record profits building on floodplains and destroying the mangrove forests and fish nurseries that must be protected.

With so many of these precious ecosystems already destroyed, we cannot afford the new wave of destruction that is upon us.

The pied oystercatcher is just one species being driven to extinction by the destruction of our wetlands. Credit: Liz Allan.

 


Did you know?

Wetlands have also been at the forefront of the conservation movement – the 1971 RAMSAR Convention was the first modern treaty to conserve nature.
RAMSAR wetlands are now the largest network of protected areas in the world. They cover 2,400 locations protected across 2.5 million square kilometres in 172 countries.

Australia has played a leading role as one of the seven founding RAMSAR signatories and the first country to designate a RAMSAR protected wetland.
The 67 RAMSAR sites that cover 8.3 million hectares of Country are subject to some of the strictest legal protections in Australia. These areas provide havens and breeding grounds for countless plants and animals, including the 2 million migratory birds that journey from Alaska and Siberia to nest and feed.


As the RAMSAR Convention states, wetlands are vital to human survival.  

 


Take our wetlands quiz to test your knowledge