Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth
The Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth region is home to one of Australia’s most important wetland areas.
Located at the end of the River Murray, the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth provide a unique range of freshwater, estuarine and marine wetland habitats. Together these wetlands support a very diverse range of plants and animals, many of which are nationally or internationally threatened including the Murray hardyhead, Mount Lofty Ranges southern emu wren, southern bell frog, hooded plover and Australasian bittern.
The wetland plays a significant role in supporting waterbirds in the Murray-Darling Basin, and forms an important breeding site for many species, including the Australian pelican, straw-necked ibis and Australian fairy terns. The site even supports 37 species of migratory birds that travel from as far as Siberia and Alaska to visit the wetland each year.
The wetland is also home to about half of the total number of fish species found in the Murray-Darling Basin and is the only access point for species that need to move between fresh, estuarine and marine waters at various stages of their lifecycle, including pouched lamprey, common galaxis and congolli.
It is also the only site where salt and other pollutants can be flushed from the entire Murray-Darling Basin to the ocean. The wetland’s health therefore reflects the health of the entire basin and indicates the Basin Plan’s level of success in achieving a sustainable river system.
Because of its environmental significance, the Coorong and Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Wetland was designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1985.
The South Australian Government is taking action to restore the health, vitality and visitor experience of the Coorong through its Project Coorong initiative.
A range of other environmental projects and activities are underway to secure a healthy future for the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth, including:
- Coorong and Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Ramsar Management Plan
- Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth
- Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Recovery Project
- Managing water levels in the Lower Lakes
- Keeping the Murray Mouth open