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Mangroves of the Gold Coast


Mangrove forests fringe our coastal waterways and cover the mud islands in our open estuaries. A mangrove is a plant that grows above the average sea level of an intertidal zone.

An important habitat for a wide range of species, mangroves provide nursery, feeding and protective areas for fish and crustaceans and are vital for nutrient cycling.

Mangroves also play a valuable role in foreshore protection with their extensive root systems assisting shoreline stability.

If you reside close to mangrove wetlands you may notice a pungent rotten egg-like odour, between the months of May and November.

This odour is typically the result of the breakdown of organic material such as leaves and seeds in wetland areas. Bacteria facilitate this breakdown of organic material by consuming oxygen from the water, creating a sulphur reaction with distinctive hydrogen sulphide (rotten egg) odour.

As this is a natural process, little can be done to reduce the odour. Importantly, there are no long-term health impacts associated with exposure to hydrogen sulphide odours at these low levels.

Planting outdoor perfumed flowering plants that thrive in winter can help manage these odours.

Mangroves on the Gold Coast (PDF 729kb)

Living with mangrove odours (PDF 915kb)

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