Topics > River Murray > Improving river health > Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth

Lower Lakes, Coorong and Murray Mouth Icon Site

The Lower Lakes, Coorong and Murray Mouth (LLCMM) Icon Site is located 180 km south-east of Adelaide where the terminus of the River Murray is located. The River Murray flows into Lake Alexandrina, which supplies Lake Albert to its east, the Coorong estuary to the south and then exits the Murray Mouth to the Southern Ocean. The icon site is internationally significant and consists of 23 wetland types that support a diverse range of native waterbirds, fish, invertebrate and plant communities. It is home to large concentrations of wading birds in Australia, and is recognised internationally as a breeding ground for many species of migratory wading birds and threatened fish species.

Three ecological objectives have been set by the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council to achieve a healthier estuarine environment at the LLCMM Icon Site:

  • an open Murray Mouth
  • enhanced migratory water bird habitat in the Lower Lakes and Coorong
  • more frequent estuarine fish spawning and recruitment.

Work to achieve this includes:

  • delivering water for the environment and monitoring to protect priority wetland sites as refuge for plants and animals, and to better understand the condition of the Coorong estuary and how to best manage this internationally important area
  • extensive community, Traditional Owner and scientific engagement to ensure effective consultation and participation in decision-making processes.
  • operational management of the Lower Lakes and barrage infrastructure to enable us to make the best possible use of any water for the environment available.

The activities are guided by the LLCMM Environmental Management Plan.

Find out more in the LLCMM Icon Site fact sheet, which includes information about the ecological objectives and targets for the site, along with community and Indigenous engagement initiatives.

A decade of connection and healing

The Coorong Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Icon Site is a significant place internationally, nationally and locally. It nearly ‘died’ during the Millennium Drought (1997-2010) from a combination of over extraction of water and climatic conditions. A decade on, it’s slowly recovering – with the aid of water for the environment and great collaboration between governments, Commonwealth bodies, scientists, Ngarrindjeri and community. But there is a long way to go to keep the area ecologically, economically, socially and culturally alive, and for that water is needed.

Our new short film ‘A decade of connection and healing’ tells the story of just how severely the Coorong and surrounding areas have suffered over time and how better water management, research and collaboration is seeing gradual improvements to the region.

Coorong Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth – A Decade of Connection and Healing

*Please note that the photo in the film labelled as provided by Chris Jackson is actually provided by Sally Grundy of Mundoo Island Station.