Home / Projects / Mangrove and Saltmarsh Restoration / Saving Our Saltmarsh, Richmond River, NSW

Video Credits: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Saving our Saltmarsh OzFish volunteers.


Saltmarsh is critically important to the health of the lower Richmond River and its fish population. These communities are important to water quality, bank stability and as fish habitat and fish food source.

Together, using both local expertise and community, the project partners will work on a combination of both public and private lands to fence, weed, remove rubbish (small and large items), reduce or formalise access points and use vegetative buffers to protect and improve this important fish habitat.

Saltmarshes and Fish


Saltmarshes are essential for healthy fisheries as they provide food, refuge, or a nursery habitat for our fish and other aquatic life including shrimp and blue swimmer crab.

In this short educational video Cass Price, the Director of Habitat Programs at OzFish explains some of the common species you can find in our Saltmarshes and why they are important to fish habitat.

Unpack Habitat


Over 70% of all recreationally targeted saltwater fish species are thought to rely on saltmarshes for at least some of their life cycle.

With the support of our Growing River Stewardship program supported by the NSW Government’s Environmental Trust, we took some time to unpack saltmarshes. 


saving the saltmarsh

Saltmarsh Assessment

OzFish have a volunteer-friendly assessment that can be completed with a walk through a saltmarsh in just a few hours. It considers the health of the saltmarsh and the human impacts that might be damaging the saltmarsh health. Take a walk through a saltmarsh and discover its values and what can be done to protect them. Use underwater video to monitor what’s in the incoming tide today and much more.

Wetland Assessment Technique Manual

Wetland Assessment Technique Management Options Flowchart

saving the saltmarsh

Clean-up Days

Saltmarshes are targets for waste dumping, they are also a place where a lot of flotsam and jetsam ends up settling when the tide returns to the estuary. Pull on some gloves and help us keep our saltmarshes in a healthy state.

saving the saltmarsh

Weeds and Plants

Sometimes saltmarsh can use more protection around the edges, we’re working on stopping the weeds from taking over and giving saltmarshes the best chance to thrive. Planting around the edges can also help filter any water coming from the land before it ends up in the saltmarsh where our fish are feeding.

Access Management and Fencing

Help to identify tracks and access points for fishing that reduces damage to sensitive saltmarsh, but allows great fishing access where the best fishing spots are.

Feral Pests

OzFish Director of Habitat Programs Cassie Price explains how to monitor fish habitat with trail cameras. You can use trail cameras to track down feral animals, toads, foxes, cats, pigs and deer who are feeding on the native species of the saltmarsh or trampling the sensitive plants. Some saltmarsh plants can take 20 years to recover after being trampled.


APRIL 2022 | How and why we monitor saltmarsh

Saltmarsh are an important element to our coastal ecosystems and are undervalued for the benefit they bring our local waterways. Saltmarsh acts as a buffer system between our salt and freshwater systems and can withstand the salinity of the salty soils near our coast. Saltmarsh and mangroves work as a team protecting our coast and helping support our fisheries. Mangroves establish at a lower elevation than the saltmarsh. Where there are mangroves, there is saltmarsh only a few feet away. The ecosystem provides an essential coastal resource by reducing erosion and storm protection. Saltmarsh and mangroves also reduce the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere through carbon sequestration.

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JANUARY 2022 | Human Nature Adventure Therapy team up with OzFish

On 25th January 2022, OzFish Unlimited, Australia’s fishing conservation charity, partnered with a local NGO – Human Nature Adventure Therapy that assists local youths with mental health and behaviour issues.

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MAY 2020 | Preserving our saltmarshes

As recreational fishers, we can share in the joy of hauling in brilliant runs of bream from intertidal waters, maybe dropping a crab pot along the river’s edge, even some prawning in the bay. So, it is worth having a look at these places as they provide the food many of our fish depend upon. Saltmarsh generally describes the place where salt-tolerant plants grow together. These places are intermittently covered by saltwater during king tides (referred to as HAT in the diagram below). Saltmarshes were previously considered to be low-value boggy swamps and wastelands of little practical use to us. So, it is no surprise we have seen many of these areas get drained, reclaimed, and consequently degraded by human activities.

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October 2019 | OzFish Richmond River Saves Saltmarsh for Better Fishing

OzFish Unlimited has embarked on a project to rehabilitate the remaining saltmarsh in the Richmond River Estuary. OzFish has partnered with Jali Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Ballina Shire Council to get the project, titled Saving our Saltmarsh, underway. It will not be an overnight fix. The Saving our Saltmarsh project will continue over a number of years, reviewing and addressing potential impacts on saltmarsh and river health. Actions such as rubbish removal, weed eradication, reduction of habitat damage by vehicles, buffer planting and feral animal control will be paramount to the saltmarsh’s long-term health and the productivity of our local fishery.

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Get Involved.
Be Part Of Making A Difference.

 Become a member of OzFish Richmond River Chapter and be part of Saltmarsh Restoration projects to improve the future of fishing.


The program is being funded by the NSW Government through a partnership between the Saving Our Species program and the Environmental Trust.