If we keep polluting our Australian waterways we will lose our beautiful birds and their natural habitat. We have to make an effort to protect these precious waterways all over the world. Our migratory birds and many other aquatic animals rely on these waterways to survive.  We can help prevent their extinction by protecting them and their environment from litter and pollution

Some of our Australian types of Wetlands include: Alpine, Marine, Coastal, Arid and Estuary wetlands to name a few.

Wetlands - McLarty LakeCredit: © Craig Lester

Low water levels and heat encourage the growth of algae

Wetlands vary in quality due to their area, climate change, and salinity. These waterways include marshes, billabongs, lakes, mangroves, wet grasslands, and mudflats. In other words any accumulated water areas.

Many polluted waterways result in the deaths of beautiful water birds, fish, and other precious animals.  This pollution is also destroying many of our pristine water systems in the process.

What Causes Pollution?

I shudder every time I see people releasing balloons at Weddings and Funerals.  I wish they would think of the damage and destruction these cause to our beautiful birds and our waterways before releasing them.  


Wetlands Protection - Liter of BalloonsCredit: © Craig Lester
  • Leakage of chemicals into the water - fertilizers from gardens, invasion of weeds and pest animals.
  • Poor drainage and reclamation of land by irresponsible governments that put roads and highways before the care and protection of our wetlands.
  • Recreational damage from sport and boat activities
  • Inappropriate littering from plastic bags, fishing lines, bottles, cans and even the party balloons.
  • Low water levels from lack of rain and heat cause algae to grow.

Why is Protecting Our Waterways Important? 

  • Waterways catch and supply water for both human and agricultural consumption
  • They filter the impurities from our groundwater replenished from the rains
  • Waterways supply areas for recreational activities
  • Our breeding habitat for animals and birds will disappear if pollution continues
  • A major attraction to tourism
  • Natural waterways act as filters of excess nutrients, similar to the way our kidneys filter our bodies.
  • Stabilization of our shores from storm and flood control
  • Overfishing is another problem for our wetlands
  • Many of our salt marshes act as nurseries for smaller fish 

Products Produced in Wetlands

Wetlands produce salt from our seawater and create food for birds and animals. We produce some of our medicines from the bark of mangroves and our waterways help to purify and clean our water.

Which Animals Live in Our Waterways?

Many varieties of water and migratory birds, fish, crabs, frogs, turtles, small rodents and echidnas all rely on these waterways to survive.

Common Plants in Australian Wetlands 

Plants improve, oxygenate and purify our waterways.  At the same time, they add resources for food, nesting and areas of shelter for the many birds and small animals that live in and around these waterways.

These plants all grow in different types of waterways: Banksia, Red River Gums, Water lilies, Common Reeds, Water Primrose and many pond weeds.

Wetland Protection - Dead Pigs and Beer Bottle LitterCredit: © Craig Lester

Craig Lester caught and released this gull from the fishing line

How Can Governments Help to Protect Our Wetlands?

All governments and Shires can avoid destroying our wetlands by re-routing roads and highways around instead of going through them.  They can landscape with drought-resistant native plants and prevent illegal dumping of rubbish, back filling with rubble and clearing for housing estates.[1]

Protect Wetlands - Bird injured with fishing linesCredit: © Craig Lester

 Craig Lester a volunteer caught this bird after freeing from fishing gear and released when healthy

How Can we Protect Our Wetlands and Waterways? 

  • Protect our beautiful wetland environment from all harmful and hazardous products
  • Use non-toxic household cleaning bio friendly products
  • Reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers in your gardens, especially near waterways and drains
  • Do not litter and pick up dog feces and place in bins. If no bins, take with you, in fact, do not take dogs to these areas in the first place.
  • Join a community group that helps to improve our environment
  • Recycle all batteries, paints, and other hazardous materials
  • Keep livestock away from natural wetlands
  • When shopping, read the labels and buy non harmful products
  • Wash cars on lawns away from drains
  • Never drop fishing lines into the water. Take all unused lines and fishing tackle home with you.
  • Do not drop plastic bags nor the party balloons into our waterways – bin them 

Volunteers Spend Hours Protecting Our Birds

Thousands of volunteers work tirelessly every day catching, healing and releasing birds and animals that would otherwise die if not treated. Hundreds more still die a painful death because they don't receive this help. One of these volunteers is Craig Lester who has been good enough to supply these photos so you can see the carnage these things can cause to our birds and wildlife.

Protect Wetlands - Shag caught in fishing gearCredit: © Craig Lester

  This bird has fishing line entangled around its legs


If you want to continue to enjoy seeing these beautiful birds, animals and waterways then please help us to keep them free from pollution and stop people you see from littering and destroying their habitat. Many photographers come from all over the world to visit these places to see the different species of birds in these wetlands and waterways.[2]

Australia's Wetlands