Before European settlement, natural wetlands were once widespread across the City of Onkaparinga and provided a rich habitat for local wildlife and many migratory bird species that visit from interstate or even overseas. In order to make this fertile land useful for agriculture and housing, most natural wetlands were drained and cleared.

The destruction of natural wetlands was so extensive within our council region that only the Washpool Lagoon at Aldinga Beach and parts of the Onkaparinga Estuary remain close to their natural state and are still important habitats. The Washpool Lagoon is now listed as a wetland of national significance and provides a refuge for migratory shorebirds in spring and summer.

We recognise the importance of natural wetland systems and the role that built wetlands can play in reducing the impacts of urban development on catchments and the sea. 

Washpool Lagoon at Aldinga Beach is one of the last remaining coastal lagoons of its type along the metropolitan Adelaide coastline.

The City of Onkaparinga has designed and created 18 wetlands across the region which provide:

  • improved water quality through the capture, retention and breakdown of excess nutrients, sediments and pollutants.
  • improved seasonal water availability and reduced erosion via the capture, storage and slow release of water when it is needed through our water reuse program (formerly known as Water Proofing the South)
  • carbon storage within the soil and living plants.
  • habitat for native wildlife including birds, frogs and reptiles.
  • recreational,  natural play, educational and tourism opportunities.

Wetlands are dynamic systems and require intensive management to maintain their function and health. We ensure this occurs through:

  • controlling weeds that can push out other native plants, wreck habitat for wildlife and block drainage.
  • controlling or reducing some native reeds that can grow excessively due to high nutrient levels. 
  • removing rubbish, debris and silt.
  • introducing habitat for wildlife such as logs and rocks.
  • working with passionate volunteers who help look after our natural areas and teach others about our amazing plants and animals.

To discover more about some of council’s wetlands, please select a wetland below:

There are a number of flood detention basins which also have many features of wetlands. These are located at:

  • How Road, Aldinga Beach
  • the old railway corridor, Seaford
  • near Perry Road, Noarlunga Downs
  • Pridham Boulevard, Aldinga Beach
  • Blue Point Way, Aldinga Beach
  • Dundee Street, Sellicks Beach
  • Morrow Road Sedimentation Ponds

For further information contact the Nature Conservation Team on 8384 0666.