Estuarine habitats


View a map showing the saltmarsh in your estuary.

What’s a saltmarsh?

A saltmarsh is a group of vegetation and low shrubs that may tolerate excessive soil salinity and occasional inundation from salt water. They often have areas with vegetation interspersed with naked areas (salt pans). Saltmarshes happen on the higher ranges of the intertidal zone, typically behind mangroves, and, whereas they are not topic to every day tidal inundation, they’re flooded by bigger tides and semi-permanent swimming pools of brackish water.2

Saltmarsh vegetation

Saltmarshes are characterised by plant species, resembling Sarcocornia quinqueflora (samphire), Sporobolus virginicus (saltwater sofa) and Juncus species (rushes).

Why are saltmarshes vital?

41 fish species are identified to make use of saltmarsh areas, together with yellowfin bream, sand whiting and numerous mullets.2

Saltmarsh is vital to fish because it offers sources of meals, habitat and shelter when inundated at excessive tide. Saltmarshes play an vital function as a juvenile habitat for species resembling bream and mullet. Crabs are frequent in saltmarsh communities, and are a big meals supply for bream and different fish species. Some species, resembling frequent galaxias (Galaxias maculatus), deposit their eggs in saltmarsh vegetation. Saltmarshes additionally act as a buffer and filtration system for sediments and vitamins.

The place are saltmarshes present in NSW?

Saltmarshes might be present in estuaries alongside the entire NSW shoreline, with the bigger areas occurring within the Manning bioregion (between Nambucca Heads and Stockton). Saltmarsh is discovered in lots of estuaries of NSW and covers a complete space of roughly 59km4. The distribution of main areas of saltmarsh in NSW is proven within the desk under.5


Variety of estuaries

Space (km2)

Tweed / Morton  (north of Nambucca Heads)



Manning   (Nambucca Heads to Stockton)



Hawkesbury   (Stockton to Shellharbour)



Batemans   (Shellharbour to Tathra)



Twofold  (south of Tathra)



Whole NSW



Standing of saltmarsh in NSW

Inside NSW, saltmarsh space is contracting, with losses of between 12% and 97%. A part of that is as a result of growth of mangroves.4 Mangroves transfer landward due to modifications in rainfall patterns, sea stage rise, tidal modifications as a consequence of harbour dredging, sedimentation and modifications to the catchment.6 In lots of areas the extent and well being of saltmarsh communities has quickly declined as a consequence of stress from rural and concrete improvement.

Coastal saltmarshes have been listed as an Endangered Ecological Group beneath the Threatened Species Conservation Act, administered by the Division of Setting and Local weather Change. For extra info go to Saltmarsh as an Endangered Ecological Community (


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