Other protected wetlands

Many NSW wetlands are nationally significant, protected under a coastal planning policy or in national parks.

Nationally significant wetlands

Tree overhanging a marshNationally significant wetlands are listed in the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia and are known as DIWA wetlands.

To be included on the list, wetlands need to meet at least one of 6 criteria covering factors such as their ecological role, their social and cultural values and the plants and animals that rely on them.

There are 198 DIWA wetlands in New South Wales.

They include:

  • Great Cumbung Swamp
  • Lake George
  • Lowbidgee Floodplain
  • Menindee Lakes.

Environmentally sensitive coastal wetlands

The most environmentally sensitive coastal wetlands are listed under State Environmental Planning Policy 14 (SEPP 14).

The policy aims to preserve and protect wetlands such as coastal lakes and lagoons.

There are more than 1500 coastal wetlands in New South Wales listed under SEPP 14.

They include:

  • Lake Wollumboola in Shoalhaven
  • Clarence Estuary near Yamba
  • East Chickiba wetlands in East Ballina.

SEPP 14 is due to be replaced by the Coastal Management State Environmental Planning Policy.

Wetlands within national parks

View of water with ducks and exposed roots on bankAbout 7.2% of wetland area in New South Wales is within national parks.

These wetlands include:

  • coastal wetlands at Towra Point and the Hunter Estuary
  • floodplain wetlands such as the Macquarie Marshes
  • freshwater lakes such as Mother of Ducks Lagoon
  • popular recreation sites such as Myall Lakes
  • ephemeral lakes in drier regions such as Lake Pinaroo.

In fact, some national parks and nature reserves were established to protect wetlands that are rare or threatened.

These parks and reserves include:

  • Pitt Town Nature Reserve in north-west Sydney
  • Cudgen Nature Reserve on the north coast
  • Yanga National Park on the Lower Murrumbidgee.