Recommended actions for restoring the ecological character of the South Lagoon of the Coorong

Justin Brookes, Paul Dalby, Sabine Dittmann, Jody O'Connor, David Paton, Rebecca Quin, Daniel Rogers, Michelle Waycott, Qifeng Ye

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


The Coorong is considered to be the most important waterbird wetland in the Murray-Darling Basin. It has been degraded to the point where it is at risk of losing the key elements which make it such an iconic wetland of local, national and international importance. Managers currently have a number of ‘levers’ available to them to manipulate water levels and salinity. These include River Murray environmental flow provisions, barrage operations, Murray Mouth dredging and flows from the South-East of South Australia. However, managers have little capacity to confidently forecast the ecological responses due to critical knowledge gaps. There is a risk that well-intentioned management could exacerbate the vulnerability of the system and result in a permanent loss of some species. To address the immediate threats to the South Lagoon and give managers the ability to manipulate the management ‘levers’ available to them without causing long-term harm, a number of actions are recommended in the short term. These are in addition to environmental water recovery and successful implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, which have been well documented as critical for condition of the site.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAdelaide, South Australia
PublisherGoyder Institute for Water Research
Commissioning bodySouth Australia, Department for Environment and Water
Number of pages50
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameGoyder Institute for Water Research Technical Report Series
PublisherGoyder Institute for Water Research
ISSN (Electronic)1839-2725


  • Coorong
  • ecological character
  • South Lagoon
  • water levels
  • salinity
  • algal dominated


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