An introduction to Wetlands

Western Australia contains a large number of significant wetlands that provide important habitats for native plants and animals.

Many of these wetlands have been damaged or destroyed by land developments, the alteration of natural water system regimes and pollution. In agricultural areas, significant land clearing has led to many naturally saline lakes and marshes becoming hyper-saline and unable to sustain native species. It is estimated that over 80% of the wetlands of the Swan Coastal Plain have been destroyed, with only 15% retaining high conservation values.

This fact sheet examines the legal protection that applies to wetlands in Western Australia and identifies the bodies responsible for their management. For information on the laws relating to other water resources, see Fact Sheet: River, watercourses and groundwater.