Commonwealth Environmental Water Office banner

About wetlands

Wetlands are a critical part of our natural environment. They protect our shores from wave action, reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality. They provide habitat for animals and plants and many contain a wide diversity of life, supporting plants and animals that are found nowhere else.

Australia currently has 65 Ramsar wetlands and more than 900 nationally important wetlands.

The Australian Government Department of the Environment, through the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, is the administrative authority within Australia for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.

North Stradbroke Island, Moreton Bay Ramsar wetland. Photo: Jim Mollison

Great cormorants, South Australia. Photo: Brian Furby