Well for starters, fish love saltmarsh – they use it as a safe place to breed and feed, as there are much fewer predators here. They are very productive ecosystems—meaning that the plants grow a lot each year, and in doing so they support large numbers of snails, worms and other invertebrates and crustaceans that are essential feed for many other animals, including fish and birds. So if you like eating or catching fish, then looking after our saltmarsh areas is looking after your fish! Recreational fisher folk are key allies in protecting saltmarsh. We are currently working together with OzFish Unlimited to help Australian recreational fishers become proud contributors to a better fishing future.
Migratory birds which travel thousands of miles also use saltmarsh as a vital resting and feeding spot, before continuing their journey. Crustaceans like crabs and prawns also use it as a safe place to feed and breed.
Saltmarsh also cleans water before it makes it way to the ocean, by filtering nutrients and sediment. Clean water means more fish, marine life and healthier coastal areas for you to enjoy with your family. Saltmarshes are super carbon stores. Australian saltmarshes, along with mangroves and seagrasses, trap and bury 5 times more carbon in each hectare of their soils than land-based forests. This is because saltmarsh is highly productive (the plants grow quickly), and it exists on wet soils (which are starved of oxygen). A common misconception is that saltmarsh are home to many mosquitos, but in reality, a healthy saltmarsh ecosystems generally have fewer mosquitos than saltmarsh areas that have been damaged and degraded.