Waterways and wetlands

Waterways and wetlands are our rivers, canals, lakes and water bodies.

The Sunshine Coast features many natural waterways and wetlands, as well as man-made channels, canals and lakes.

Our region has catchments of five major waterways: the Maroochy and Mooloolah Rivers, the upper Mary and Stanley Rivers and the Pumicestone Passage. They support a wide range of habitats, including:

  • estuaries and freshwater pools and riffles, and
  • wallum, paperbark and sedge wetlands.

Waterways and wetlands provide homes for our aquatic animals, for example, fish, crustaceans, shellfish, water birds, frogs, turtles and aquatic mammals. Our habitats provide for 8 plants and 23 animals that are rare and threatened aquatic species.

They also support streamside - riparian areas. Riparian areas are important as they filter pollutants. Their vegetation also helps to reduce erosion and give shade for water-based habitats.

Waterways and wetlands are great for swimming, boating and fishing. Residents and visitors can also enjoy walking or cycling on foreshores.

Council's role

Council sets the direction of plans, regulations and programs. We work with the Queensland Government, natural resource managers and the community to protect and maintain water quality, flora and fauna.


Waterways and wetlands are healthy, resilient to change and valued by the community.

Policy positions

Read our waterways and wetlands policy positions.

Sunshine Coast Council acknowledges the Sunshine Coast Country, home of the Kabi Kabi peoples and the Jinibara peoples, the Traditional Custodians, whose lands and waters we all now share.
We commit to working in partnership with the Traditional Custodians and the broader First Nations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) community to support self-determination through economic and community development.
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© Sunshine Coast Regional Council 2008 - 2023