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Wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef Management Strategy 2016–21

The Queensland Government is committed to ensuring that the Great Barrier Reef is conserved for future generations.

The Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan recognises the value of wetlands in contributing to reef resilience and ecosystem health, and highlights that there has been a decline in ecosystem processes that are important for maintaining water quality.

Great Barrier Reef  Photo by Queensland Government

Quick facts

The Great Barrier Reef
is the largest living thing on Earth, and even visible from outer space. The 2,300km-long ecosystem comprises thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of over 600 types of hard and soft coral. It's home to countless species of colourful fish, molluscs and starfish, plus turtles, dolphins and sharks and has an area of 344,400 km².

The Queensland Government convened the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce to provide independent advice to ensure that clean water flows from the rivers to the sea to protect the reef. There is increasing recognition that previous initiatives are not sufficient to meet the water quality targets for the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce also recognised that the health of the catchments and wetlands of the Great Barrier Reef are critical to its resilience. Their recommendations included improving the protection and health of wetlands and coastal ecosystems and rehabilitating wetlands and coastal ecosystems.


The Wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef Catchments Management Strategy 2016–21 supports the Reef 2050 Long term Sustainability Plan and the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan 2017, setting out a framework for the improved management of the wetlands of the Great Barrier Reef catchments. It builds on the achievements of the Queensland Wetlands Program and recognises wetlands as vital to the health of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem and its catchments.

This strategy includes five themes: improved information; planning; on-ground management; communication and education; and evaluation, review and improvement.

Last updated: 14 December 2016

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2016) Wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef Management Strategy 2016–21, WetlandInfo website, accessed 24 September 2020. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science