Dowd Morass is an important wetland of the Gippsland Lakes Ramsar site. It is a popular breeding site for waterbirds, which enjoy wading through the Swamp Paperbarks. Other species that live and breed there include:

  • Spoonbills
  • Ibis
  • Egrets
  • Cormorants
  • Swans
  • Ducks
  • Other water fowl
  • Green-golden bell frogs
  • Mammals
  • Fish
  • Reptiles

Swamp Paperbarks can become stressed and die if the wetlands are too salty. The loss of these trees would mean the loss of a significantly important bird breeding site, and with predicted sea level rises the risk salt water flooding into the wetland is increasing.

About the project

Salinity levels in Dowd Morass wetland are generally low, but highly salty water can sometimes spill over from Lake Wellington. This happened in May 2016 and this project will look at the impact of this and develop options in an attempt to stop it happening again.

What will this project achieve?

  • Better understanding of the seasonal, climatic, and hydraulic factors that contributed to the spill over in May 2016 and assess the risk of it happening again.
  • Understand the risks to other Lake Wellington fringing wetlands.
  • Identify actions to reduce the current saline water in Dowd Morass.
  • Reduce future risks of similar uncontrollable spill overs.


This project is funded by the Victorian State Government for the Gippsland Lakes.


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