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A dynamic system containing wetlands of international significance.

The Lower Lakes and Coorong including the Murray Mouth mark the end of the Murray-Darling Basin, surrounded by corridor plains between relict coastal dunes. Water-based tourism, fishing, dairy farming and cropping are all important to the local economy. The Ramsar listed estuary provides critical habitat for numerous threatened and migratory fauna species.

This page provides an overview of the things people value about the landscapes, livelihoods and lifestyles of the Lower Lakes and Coorong subregion, what is driving change, and what needs to be worked on to ensure the values supported by natural resources persist for the future.

What makes this subregion special

Some of the features we value in the Lower Lakes and Coorong subregion that are supported by natural resources include:

  • Aboriginal cultural values
  • natural beauty and spiritual values of the Ramsar wetlands
  • secure freshwater supplies from the Lower Lakes for domestic and industrial use
  • agricultural production from irrigated horticulture, dairies, dryland farming and grazing
  • biodiversity conservation including threatened species (Ramsar wetland of international importance, national significance as the only estuary in the Murray-Darling Basin)
  • tourism associated with Ramsar wetlands and European history
  • lifestyle values; rural-living, family history, strong community cohesion, and lake-based recreation (boating, water sports)
  • commercial and recreational fishing.

Drivers of change

The main drivers of change to natural resources identified in the Lower Lakes and Coorong subregion are:

  • markets and commodity prices
  • basin-wide water extraction and use (affecting water quantity and quality)
  • basin-wide weather patterns
  • climate change. 

Impacts of climate change

Potential natural resource impacts of climate change projections in the Lower Lakes and Coorong subregion include: 

  • reduced freshwater in-flows affecting water quality, available water for production, water levels and habitat in the Coorong, and exposure of acid sulphate soils
  • rising sea levels affecting the effectiveness of the barrages
  • increasing ocean temperatures and acidification affecting the Coorong’s ecology.

What we need to work on

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