Saltmarsh is a salt-tolerant plant community in tidal areas, often found behind mangroves. It is vital for our marine environment as it provides habitat and food for many animals and invertebrates. It is largely a treeless community characterised by a variety of herbs, grasses, rushes, sedges and reeds. Saltmarshes are threatened globally and are classified as a Threatened Ecological Community


In Ku-ring-gai there are small pockets of saltmarsh located in the tidal areas of Middle Harbour, usually around the outlets of the creeks where appropriate sediment deposits are established. Sites include areas at the mouth of and around Northern Creek, Southern Creek, Gordon Creek, and Moores Creek.


Coastal saltmarsh in the NSW North Coast, Sydney Basin and South East Corner Bioregions provide habitat for a diverse range of invertebrate fauna, especially crabs, molluscs, insects and spiders. During tidal flooding a number of fish species also utilise saltmarsh habitats, and grazing by macropods may occur between tidal events. A range of birds utilise coastal saltmarsh as habitat and a variety of microbat species feed on the insects present in these areas. Studies have shown that the diversity of macrofauna in mangrove forests adjacent to saltmarsh is greater than in mangroves that do not border saltmarsh.

Saltmarsh is threatened in Sydney due to:

  • infilling
  • modified tidal flow
  • stormwater run-off
  • weed invasion
  • damage by domestic and feral animals
  • human disturbance and
  • climate change

How you can help

  • Don't walk on saltmarsh, stick to the formal walking tracks
  • Never drive vehicles or ride bicycles through saltmarsh
  • Do not remove or introduce plants and soil
  • Do not dump waste and ensure weed and garden clippings are disposed of via the council green waste bin
  • Remove noxious weed species such as lantana and privet from your property to minimise potential spread to saltmarsh areas
  • Keep dogs on leads and out of saltmarsh, pick up dog faeces and keep cats indoors at night
  • Install a rainwater tank to minimise excess run-off from your property