Achieving impact

Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland project

Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland project


Threats were reduced and habitat was restored in and around the internationally recognized Moreton Bay Ramsar site. 

Photo of Moreton Bay at sunset with water and mangrovesMultiple projects to reduce threats and restore habitat in and around the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetlands.

A range of activities were delivered to reduce threats and restore habitat in and around the Moreton Bay Ramsar site, as part of the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and in partnership with communities, Traditional Owners, private landowners, and governments across the region.

Extending from the foreshores of Brisbane, Moreton Bay is internationally recognized as a Ramsar Wetland for its biodiversity and ecological significance.

Starting back in 2018, the program, which focused on national priorities, was carried out over five years and was predominantly environmental, with projects focusing on Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES), world heritage areas, Ramsar Wetlands, threatened species, threatened ecological communities, and migratory species, together with extensive community and Indigenous engagement and participation, planning, and monitoring.

Multiple projects

This overarching program includes multiple projects focused on:

  • Coastal restoration including revegetation and dune stabilisation.
  • Fire management in coastal ecosystems.
  • Recovering vulnerable and endangered ecological communities.
  • Protecting threatened species.
  • Reducing threats to the Moreton Bay wetlands.
  • Shellfish reef creation.
  • Erosion control.
  • Working with Traditional Owners to protect cultural landscapes.
  • Marine debris elimination and reduction.
  • Controlling pest animals – foxes and pigs
  • Reducing disturbances to shorebirds – dogs and cars.
  • Development of the SEQ Shorebird Management Strategy.
  • Educational sessions and awareness raising.
  • Moreton Bay Ramsar Stakeholder Working Group to create collaboration and achieve environmental outcomes.

Actions to reduce threats and to maintain, protect, and restore habitat in and around Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetlands.

What we did

Moreton Bay drone shot of weedsDelivering environmental outcomes to preserve the ecological significance and biodiversity of Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetlands. 

The program includes multiple projects all driven to deliver environmental outcomes on different levels for the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetlands.

The list of projects includes:

  • Coochiemudlo Island Wetland Restoration.
  • Coombabah Wetland Restoration.
  • Curlew Island Restoration.
  • Domestic Dog Control on Mulgumpin (Moreton Island).
  • Feral pest control on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island).
  • Hays Inlet Saltmarsh Restoration.
  • Moreton Bay Marine Debris Removal.
  • Nathan Rd Wetland Restoration.
  • Pig Control on Mulgumpin (Moreton Island).
  • Protecting Cultural Heritage Landscapes on Bribie Island.
  • Pumicestone Shellfish Habitat Restoration.
  • Ransome Reserve Saltmarsh Restoration.
  • Soil Stabilising Polymers.
  • T.S. Onslow Shoreline Management.
  • Woorim Beach Dune Restoration.

Measuring success

As a result of the program, these projects will reduce threats and restore habitat in and around the Moreton Bay Ramsar site.

A snapshot of outcomes delivered by the end of the 5 years 2023 included:

  • 110 ha of coastal habitat restoration.
  • 3,000 ha+ control of pests and feral animals.
  • 250 ha of marine debris removal.
  • 4 ha of shellfish reef creation.
  • 65ha of erosion management through the Polymer Project.
  • 20 workshops and 10 case studies - working with Traditional Owners.
  • 25 Flora surveys.
  • 150+ communication materials produced to raise awareness.
  • 9 workshops with Ramsar Network stakeholders.
  • 30+ engagement sessions, meetings, etc. with Partners & Stakeholders (Community, Traditional Owners, Industry, Government).

Why this project is important

Moreton Bay was listed as an internationally important wetland under the Ramsar* Convention in 1993.

Covering more than 120,000 hectares, the Moreton Bay Ramsar site includes many different coastal habitats and environments from freshwater wetlands, beaches, mud flats, saltmarsh, mangroves, coral reefs, and seagrass beds.

The Bay’s diversity of wetlands provides a habitat for more than 750 species of fish, and the marine environment supports a high diversity of marine mammals including eight species of dolphin, five species of whale, and the dugong. All six marine turtle species known to exist in Australia are also found in Moreton Bay. It supports more than 50,000 wetland birds, including 28 species of migratory birds that travel from around the world to feed and roost.

The Bay’s Traditional Owners include the Kabi Kabi, Jagera, Turrbal, Yugambeh, and Quandamooka people. The area has many archaeological sites, some of which show evidence of Aboriginal people’s presence dating back 20,000 years. Traditional Owners today maintain social and cultural connections to the region.

Making sure that the internationally recognised biodiversity and ecological significance of these gems are preserved from threats and that habitat is being restored is paramount.


Project snapshot

Project name:  Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetlands Program
Project managers:  Chelsea KluskeVanessa Smolders, Patrick Malone, Healthy Land & Water
Catchment:  Moreton Bay
Timing: 2018 – 2023
Budget: $5 million

This program was part of the 1 billion investment across the nation from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, to deliver environmental outcomes.

The projects were being delivered alongside amazing partners including private landowners, land managers, local Landcare groups, and Traditional Owners.

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What's next

There is huge potential to build on the successful work. Additional funding is required to build on project successes.

Project collaborators

This program is funded by the Australian Government National Landcare Program and delivered in collaboration with landowners, managers, local Landcare groups, and Traditional Owners. 


 Australian Government NLP


*What is Ramsar

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance is an international treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Ramsar is the Iranian City where the Convention was adopted in 1971.