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Proposal for a new World Heritage Area

Often advertised by local tourist organizations as the Blue Water Wonderland, the Port Stephens/Myall Lakes region, located on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, is one of the most important estuary systems in Australia.

Home to nearly 700 species of plants (including the largest mangrove forest in the state) 300 species of birds, and over 25 kinds of reptiles, the region also supports a large dolphin and sea turtle population, as well as over twenty species of threatened birds (including the beach stone curlew and the Gould’s petrel), 22 species of threatened or endangered plants, seven species of threatened frogs and snakes, and eight species of threatened mammals.

Although nearly 65% of the estuary now receives some form of protection, concern over long-term management for this critical natural resource, including its near-coastal watershed, has prompted the Marine Parks Association to take a “whole estuary approach” to the area’s future.

Preliminary studies have strongly indicated that over 7,000 square kilometres of this region meets the criteria for inclusion into UNESCO’s World Heritage Program. The Marine Parks Association is now announcing its active commitment towards that long-term goal.

For more information, please contact World Heritage Committee chairman, Mr. Frank Future at 0412-689-798 or conservation biologist, Terry Domico at

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