| || The marshes of Bowling Green Bay on the east coast of Australia occupy an area of over 35,000 hectares (85,000 acres). The lowest part of the marsh is alternately covered and uncovered by the sea, and is made up of salty mudbanks on which no vegetation can grow. The slightly higher parts, on the other hand, are colonized by mangrove swamps. This coastal marsh has important ecological functions. It is visited by half of the populations of migratory birds from Japan and China – 244 species, 13 of which are rare or endangered. The submerged, muddy part of the marsh is a spawning-ground for fish. The marsh also absorbs the excess rainfall and controls flooding, while the mangroves retain sediment and check coastal erosion. Bowling Green Bay is a Wetland of International Importance, one of the international sites listed by the Ramsar Convention, which met in 1971 to discuss the ecological role of wetlands and the possible ways to protect them. The marshes do indeed face various threats from urban, agricultural, and industrial practices, as well as a possible rise in sea level. About half of the wetlands in Australia have dried out since the arrival of the Europeans.
Visit the YAB Gallery for books and signed prints