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Wetland management tools and guides

Wetlands provide a range of benefits through the provision of water and forage for stock, flood mitigation, nutrient and sediment transformation, and biodiversity.

Industry sectors, local governments and private landowners play an important role in the sustainable management of wetland systems as most wetlands in Queensland exist on private property.

The WetlandInfo website provides a range of valuable information that can help with wetland management at a property level. This page gives links to resources that directly relate to property management and provides a list of tools for property managers.

If you know of other information that is useful for wetland management at a property level, use the feedback link below.

Find out more about property management click on image above to use the wetland project search tool Photo by Ian Layden

Quick facts

is what one dairy farmer saved by reusing effluent for irrigation. This in turn can help increase water quality for stock and have other benefits as well. This case study and others can be found using the Wetland Project Search Tool

Guidelines, reports and tools

Title Industry Year of publication Description
Saltmarsh Rehabilitation Review of Grey Literature All 2018 Provides information on effective rehabilitation techniques from over 100 projects throughout New South Wales and Queensland. Located on the Saltmarsh for Life website.
Bridge Scour Manual All 2019 This manual includes bridge scour criteria and exceptions for Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads practices.
Water Quality Australia All 2018 National Water Quality website, links to water quality guidelines, related water quality projects and initiatives, water quality planning and information on issues affecting water quality.
Vegetation recovery in inland wetlands: an Australian perspective All 2017 This review is concerned with deliberate or planned change of vegetation from one state to another, a process that is here called recovery but which refers to activities such as restoration, rehabilitation and repair. The aim is to present a useful and accessible summary of ecological understanding about wetland vegetation recovery, as it relates to Australia. This is an essential step in the development of scientifically sound tools that will assist wetland practitioners to be more effective in restoring wetland vegetation.
Plant guides All Various

User friendly illustrated field guide that offers comprehensive information on the wetland plants of the area. 

Plant selection for WSUD: WSUD design guidelines for Mackay

Wetland Plants of the Wet Tropics

Wetland plants of the Townsville—Burdekin floodplain

Wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef Catchments Management Strategy 2016–21 All 2016

The strategy supports the The Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan and the Reef Water Quality Improvement Plan 2013, 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.

Sediment and Erosion Control All 2016

Healthy Waterways Erosion and Sediment Control Toolkit. Find out about erosion and sediment controls you can adopt to help reduce the amount of sediment run-off from your development.

Erosion and sediment control (ESC) on construction sites. The State Planning Policy and Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA) regulate future planning and development and development approvals should include provisions relating to construction and operation of developments. 

Hydro-climate tool All 2006

Explains how satellite images are used to represent inundation in the development of wetland mapping.

Information can be used to guide ecological assessments and aquatic connectivity studies. It provides a selection of imagery, based on inundation extents.

WetlandSummary All 2012 Maps, statistics, reports, species lists, conceptual models and more based on your area of choice
Managing riparian areas on dairy farms Dairy 2006 Economic assessment tools

Assessment of sub-surface (reed-bed) treatment wetlands All 2006 Economic assessment tools

Queensland Flood Reconstruction Authority Mapping All 2011 Flood check map and more.
Guidelines and information for policy and legislation see relevant section All Various


Rocklea Industrial Area Littering and Illegal Dumping Research - Final Report All 2016 This report outlines the outcomes of the Rocklea – Stable Swamp Creek Industrial Area research into behaviours for littering and illegal dumping.
Plant selection for WSUD: WSUD design guidelines for Mackay All 2016

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is a reasonably new approach to urban stormwater quality management.

It is important that local plant selection is given appropriate consideration as a matter of priority.

These Technical Design Guidelines puts forward plant recommendations chosen by a team of horticultural experts. It also contains practical design drawings illustrating how they apply.

Mangrove and associated communities of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia: change in extent 1955-1997-2012 All 2016 Qld Herbarium report showing the change in extent between Mangrove and associated communities of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. An interactive map viewer that uses a swipe map to show the changes in extent of mangrove and associated communities of Moreton Bay is also available.
The Mangrove vegetation of Moreton Bay All 1986 A descriptive account of the mangrove vegetation and a series of 10 maps at a scale of 1:25 000 prepared for the area from Caloundra to Southport on the southern Queensland coast.
Coastal wetlands of South East Queensland: mapping and survey All 2001 A survey of the coastal wetlands vegetation communities and to produce maps of the vegetation communities subject to coastal influence for south-east Queensland from the boundary of Noosa Shire and Maroochy
Shire in the north to the Queensland-New South Wales border in the south.
Gully Toolbox: A technical guide for the Reef Trust Gully Erosion Control Programme 2015–16 All 2016 This document provides a specification of the gully erosion control activities that can be undertaken.
Great Barrier Reef vulnerability assessments All 2016 As an integral part of the Great Barrier Reef Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2013, vulnerability assessments are being undertaken on habitats, species and groups of species identified as being potentially at risk. These assessments will help inform the strategy's management priorities.
Adaptive management of Ramsar wetlands All 2013 The project adopts a generic approach allowing the framework to be transferred to other wetlands, including Ramsar listed wetlands, supplied by rivers ranging from highly regulated to free flowing. The integration of management with science allows key indicators to be monitored that will inform management and promote increasingly informed decisions. The project involved a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and managers working on one of the more difficult challenges for Australia, exacerbated by increasing impacts of climate change on flows and inundation patterns.
Why do Fish Need to Cross the Road? Fish Passage Requirements for Waterway Crossings All 2003 A NSW Fisheries guideline. This document aims to minimise impacts on fish passage and general aquatic wildlife by providing practical guidelines to those involved in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of waterway crossings.
A guide to managing and restoring wetlands in Western Australia All 2013

The guides chapters include Planning for wetland management; Understanding wetlands; Managing wetlands; Monitoring wetlands; and Protecting wetlands

Nutrients and herbicides in groundwater flows to the Great Barrier Reef All 2012 This report works towards a key objective of the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan to reduce the amounts of nutrients and herbicides entering the Reef. It provides an up-to-date review and synthesis of current knowledge of groundwater transport of nutrients and herbicides to the Reef, from aquifers across the Wet Tropics, Lower Burdekin and Mackay–Whitsunday areas.
Handbook 7—Managing the floodplain—a guide to best practice in flood risk management in Australia All 2013

This handbook provides advice on the management of flooding within the floodplains and catchments of waterways.

It aims to provide advice to those with roles in understanding and managing flood risk and its consequences on the community. This may include emergency management practitioners, flood risk managers, land-use planners, engineers, hydrologists, infrastructure providers, and policy and decision makers, within government and the broader industry. It aims to inform national best practice, and State and Territory guidance.
Identification of High Conservation Value Aquatic Ecosystems (HCVAE) in the Queensland Murray Darling Basin through targeted collection of wetland inventory data across the northern basin—Technical report All 2011 The project was undertaken as part of the Queensland Wetlands Program – Phase 2. The project collected and collated data for 62 wetlands. The wetland sites were predominantly freshwater non-riverine wetlands with five riverine wetlands sampled opportunistically. The data was used to identify and classify areas of high conservation value.
Waterbody Management Guideline Local Government 2013

Assists local governments in South East Queensland to manage waterbodies. The guideline was commissioned by Redland City Council and speaks to all departments and disciplines within local government involved in managing waterbodies.

Grazing for Healthy Coastal Wetlands: Guidelines for managing coastal wetlands in grazing systems Grazing 2011

Provides graziers, landowners and extension officers with advice and information

Wetland Management Handbook: Farm Management Systems guidelines for managing wetlands in intensive agriculture Agriculture 2009

Contains information and guidelines to help producers and extension officers manage Queensland’s wetlands in intensive agricultural production systems. Follows the Farm Management System approach to managing agricultural businesses

Covers such topics as nutrient, erosion and sediment management; spray-drift management; management for fisheries values; weed and pest animal management and constructed wetlands design

Queensland Wetland Definition and Delineation Guideline

Part A

Part B

All 2010

Part A—Guide to existing wetland definitions and how to apply the Queensland Wetlands Program’s definition.

Part B—Delineation and mapping guideline
Queensland Wetland Buffer Planning Guideline All 2011

Use in palustrine, lacustrine, estuarine and marine wetland systems. Also suitable for buffers around riverine and artificial wetlands. Targeted at those with expert knowledge of wetlands

Wetland Rehabilitation Guidelines for the Great Barrier Reef catchment All 2008

Developed to assist wetland managers, landholders, local government and Natural Resource Management bodies to undertake effective wetland rehabilitation. Incorporates existing research and experience including works undertaken in Queensland

Although developed for the Great Barrier Reef area principles and ideas can be applied more broadly

Guidelines and template for preparing a wetland management plan All 2012

Produced for landholders engaged in grazing and dryland cropping in 2 of Queensland’s inland river basins, the Queensland Murray-Darling and the Bulloo

Applicable across all regions of Australia
Instream structure inventory program



The Inventory of Instream Structures demonstrates the impacts of structures which threaten the health of local fish populations that support important recreational and commercial fisheries and associated wetland functions. The guidelines and report feature a Response Action Plan (RAP) that nominates specific actions to protect wetland values.

Conceptual models and information on wetland types All Various

Wetlands in Queensland have been classified into types. Conceptual models describe the current scientific understanding of the ecology and the components and processes that characterise these wetland types.

These models can be used to inform management and underpin research and monitoring. 

Environmental value reports online All Various

This online portal is used for querying information on specific environmental values, by location.

Report types:

  • matters of state environmental significance
  • regional ecosystems
  • terrestrial biodiversity and aquatic conservation values.
Framework for evaluating aquatic ecosystem connectivity All 2013 The connectivity framework describes a process for systematically and transparently working through the connectivity of relevant functions of an aquatic ecosystem, and provides a way of understanding and applying connectivity at any level of spatial scale for any management outcome.
Walking the landscape—A whole-of-system framework for understanding and mapping environmental processes and values All 2013

The 'Walking the landscape' framework integrates existing data with expert knowledge to develop a whole-of-system map linked to conceptual models showing how the environment functions. The method addresses one of the major criticisms of broadscale mapping—the lack of integration of knowledge from local experts into datasets used by decision makers.

Planting Wetlands and Dams

A Practical Guide to Wetland Design, Construction and Propagation

All 2009

Printed copy only available

Author: Nick Romanowski

Publisher: Landlinks Press

Why Rehabilitate Urban River Systems Urban 2006

This paper examines the triple bottom line (economic, social and environmental) factors that influence decision making with respect to urban stream rehabilitation and management and considers their relative value and importance.

Incentive Measures for Conserving Freshwater Ecosystems All 2001 Developed to help private landholders to manage their wetland so as to retain the ecosystem services they provide
Fish habitat guidelines Fishing Various Range of guidelines and information

Soil indicators of Queensland wetlands: Statewide assessment and methodology

All 2010

Provides details of assessment methods for wetland soils in Queensland

Soil Indicators of Queensland Wetlands: Field Guide All 2008 The field guide has been developed to assist in the field identification of wetland soil indicators in Queensland.

Riparian Land Management Technical Guidelines

Vol 1 and Vol 2

All Various Volume 1 Part A provides the technical information on which management recommendations are based. The information is provided to remind, update or prompt the professional land manager, adviser or government officer about the technical issues that need to be considered. Part B provides a review of legislation
relating to riparian management in each State and Territory.
Volume 2 contains the management strategies themselves. Each guideline can be used on its own by practitioners interested in particular objectives, but readers are encouraged to look at all the guidelines to see if additional objectives can be achieved.
Best Practice Guidelines for the Control of Stormwater Pollution from Building Sites Urban/development Various A practical guide to best practice techniques to minimise stormwater pollution from building sites by the Gold Coast Council

Fact sheets

Title Industry Year of publication Description
Shoalwater and Corio Bay Factsheet All 2018 This fact sheet relates to the Shoalwater and Corio Bays Area Ramsar site, which is one of the largest and most ecologically rich coastal wetland sites in Queensland.
South East Queensland (SEQ) Catchments factsheets All Various The fact sheets relate to the SEQ Catchment’s area, from Noosa in the north, west to Toowoomba, and south to the New South Wales border. The fact sheets are designed to provide information for students, teachers and anyone seeking information about the area.
Wetlands of the Great Barrier Reef catchments All 2014

Promotes the values of the wetlands in the catchments of the Great Barrier Reef. It recognises wetlands as part of the broader landscape connecting catchments to the Reef and promotes the wise management of wetlands as they are vital for protecting the world recognised values of the Great Barrier Reef. It encourages working in partnership with landowners to achieve the best outcomes as many wetlands are located on private property.

Ramsar fact sheets—a wetland of international importance

All Various A series of fact sheets on Queensland’s Ramsar sites—wetlands of international significance. These fact sheets provide information on the individual sites, their location, and ecological and cultural values.
Sediment basins All 2013 Provides advice to extension officers and land managers on the use of sediment basins to improve run-off water quality, specific to coastal agriculture in the wet/dry tropics region between central and Far North Queensland.
Buffer strips All 2013 Provides advice to extension officers and land managers on the use of buffer strips to improve farm run-off water quality, specific to coastal agriculture in the wet/dry tropics region between central and Far North Queensland.
Vegetated swales and drains All 2013 Provides advice to extension officers and land owners on the use of vegetated swales and drains to improve farm run-off water quality, specific to coastal agriculture in the wet/dry tropics region between central and Far North Queensland.
Farm run-off treatment systems—toolkit All 2013 Provides advice to extension officers and land managers on planning and designing farm run-off treatment trains, specific to coastal agriculture in the wet/dry tropics region between central and Far North Queensland.
Constructed (treatment) wetlands All 2013 Provides advice to extension officers and land managers on the use of constructed (treatment) wetlands to improve farm run-off water quality, specific to coastal agriculture in the wet/dry tropics region between central and Far North Queensland.
Wetland management profiles All Various

Designed to provide information about the distribution, ecology, cultural values, conservation status, and threats to and management of particular wetland types and wetland regional ecosystems (REs) within Queensland.

Queensland Wetlands Program (QWP) fact sheets All Various Current and past QWP project fact sheets
Wetlands of south-western Queensland All Various Developed before the Queensland Wetlands Program existed so there are differences in the typology used to classify the wetlands e.g. floodplains are not considered wetlands under the Queensland Wetlands Program wetland definition, although are important to the function of some wetlands
Planning for River Restoration—fact sheet All Various This Fact Sheet in a series dealing with the management of rivers and riparian land.
Streambank Stability—fact sheet All Various This Fact Sheet in a series dealing with the management of rivers and riparian land.

Case studies

Case studies can be found in the Wetland Project search Tool


Title Industry Year of publication Description
Treatment Systems for Water Quality Improvement All 2018 An extensive set of pages has been developed synthesising best practice approaches to treatment systems for improving water quality, including conceptual models, diagrams and photos. This work was developed through the Queensland Wetlands Program by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Department of Environment and Science and reviewed by numerous technical experts and regional officers. It has a current focus on treatment systems for agricultural settings.
Site Management and Rehabilitation All 2018 The management and rehabilitation of wetlands can be undertaken for a range of reasons. The Site Management and Rehabilitation page focuses on site management and rehabilitation by providing a generic, best practice approach.
Australian Coastal Restoration Network All Various The Australian Coastal Restoration Network is a platform to connect coastal specialists, experts, researchers, practitioners and managers so that they can collaborate, share knowledge and ideas, and seek answers and solutions to challenges.
Seagrass Restoration Network All Various The Seagrass Restoration Network (SRN) Australasia links scientists, industry practitioners, community and government policy makers for an up to date look at the development and implementation of conservation, recovery and restoration of seagrass meadows.
Shellfish Reef Restoration Network All Various The Shellfish Reef Restoration Network is a community of restoration practitioners, researchers, educators and general shellfish enthusiasts that are raising awareness and advocating for shellfish reef restoration in Australia.
Australian Mangrove and Saltmarsh Network All Various The Mangrove Hub conducts world-leading research into mangrove and tidal wetland ecosystems. The Mangrove Hub is equipped with extensive libraries of published articles on mangrove and tidal wetlands, aerial photographic imagery and methodologies for mangrove research and monitoring.
Great Barrier Reef Coral Restoration All Various The project 'Best Practice Coral Restoration for the Great Barrier Reef' is funded by the National Environmental Science Program (NESP), and is a collaboration between James Cook University and Reef Ecologic. Researchers at James Cook University are working with coral reef experts from around the world in a project which aims to provide advice on best practice coral restoration for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR).
Bureau of Meteorology climate change and variability information All Various Learn about observed climate change in Australia, explore regional climate change predictions, read about regional impacts and access reports and other publications.
Bioregional Assessment Programme All 2016

The Australian Government’s Bioregional Assessment Programme provides transparent scientific information to better understand the potential impacts of coal seam gas and coal mining developments on water resources and water-dependent assets such as wetlands and groundwater bores.

Water by Design Urban/development

Although focused at urban areas principles i.e. water run-off management can be used more broadly

Various Capacity building program that supports Water Sensitive Urban Design in South East Queensland.

They provide, fact sheets, reports, training, discussion forums and more.

Wetlands International All Various Support to NRM regional bodies and wetland managers in the management of important wetlands

Reports, facts sheets and more

Reef Water Quality Protection Plan All Various Case studies, reports and more
Funding opportunities and links All Various Links to another page on WetlandInfo
Natural Resources SA Murray Darling Basin All Various Reports, information sheets and more
Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge (TRaCK) All Various Publications, images, research, e-Atlas and more

Sugar Research and Development Corporation

Sugar Various Reports, facts sheets and more.
Murray-Darling Basin Authority Agriculture Various Fact sheets and information on farming in the Murray-Darling Basin
Conservation Volunteers Australia All Various Range of facts sheets, reports, services including
e-water All Various Case studies, publications, scientific information
River Landscapes All Various Projects, publications, tools and training
Queensland Farmers' Federation (QFF) Agriculture Various QFF provides information on different types of farming practices, fact sheets, reports, training opportunities, media releases and more.
Cotton catchment communities CRC

Cotton Various Reports, fact sheets and other information
CANEGROWERS Sugar Various Case studies, best management practice, fact sheets, tools, training, classifieds and more

Growcom Horticulture Various Case studies, best management practice, training, reports and more

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Fisheries) - Habitats Fisheries Various Policies, guidelines, information, research opportunities and more
Land and Water Australia All Various Case studies, fact sheets, tools, research programs and reports
Clearwater Urban Various Training, events, tools, fact sheets, reports, guidelines and more

Last updated: 8 February 2019

This page should be cited as:

Wetland management tools and guides, WetlandInfo 2014, Department of Environment and Science, Queensland, viewed 11 February 2019, <>.

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science