Importance of saltmarshes
Saltmarshes play an important role as sediment traps. In this way, they regulate the water quality and help stabilize the coastline. They function as filtering systems and retain sediments, excess nutrients, toxic chemicals and disease-causing organisms. They remove nitrates and phosphates from rivers and streams which receive waste water effluents.
Another function is the recharge and discharge of groundwater contributing to the water supply. Salt marshes function also as important habitat, nursery grounds for larvae and small organisms, shelter, providing food and a nesting ground for wading birds and other organisms, including many endangered and protected species.
Species of migratory birds protected under federal
legislation and international treaties, such as the sharp-
tailed sandpiper often roost and feed in saltmarsh during
their stay in Australia.