Coastal Wetlands
Coastal wetlands Aerial view of Coastal wetlands in South Australia © DEW


TNC announces site of first blue carbon coastal wetland restoration project in South Australia

Media Contacts

The Nature Conservancy Australia (TNC) is delighted to announce that a site near Webb Beach in the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary, South Australia, has been selected for its first blue carbon coastal wetland restoration project. Delivered in partnership between TNC and the South Australian Government, with the support of Smartgroup, this is a milestone project in the blue carbon space.

“The Nature Conservancy, the South Australian Department for Environment and Water and Smartgroup have worked very closely to identify the ideal site for our blue carbon coastal wetlands restoration project. Today is a very exciting milestone for our partnership,” Alison Rowe, Managing Director for TNC Australia, said.

Blue carbon is carbon captured and sequestered by coastal wetlands (mangroves, saltmarshes and seagrasses). This carbon can remain in the sediment for thousands of years, making it one of the longest-term natural solutions to climate change.

Over the past year, The Nature Conservancy has worked with coastal ecologists to select a restoration site that will have the biggest impact for the local environment, as well as carbon capture and storage.

The Webb Beach site is near the northern boundary of the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary, a critically important habitat for many Australian and migratory birds. Around 15,000 shorebirds gather here for up to six months each year before migrating to breeding grounds in China, Siberia and elsewhere in East Asia.

Expanding the habitat available to these birds will strengthen global conservation efforts along one of the world’s three great migratory bird flight paths.

Over the next year, the team will restore natural tidal flow to the wetlands, which will expand the area where saltmarsh can grow. 

The project will result in other environmental benefits such as the protection of threatened species, tidal retreat, the creation of fish habitat and roosting and feeding habitat for important migratory and resident shorebirds.

Partnering with The Nature Conservancy allows Smartgroup, a leading national provider of salary packaging and novated car leasing, to support an important investment in carbon offsets in South Australia.

“Smartgroup is one of the first Australian companies to invest in a blue carbon project. Their support will allow the restoration of this site to become an effective carbon sink,” Ms Rowe said.

Sarah Haas, Smartgroup’s Chief Operating Officer said Smartgroup was proud to support green initiatives through its Carbon Offset Program.

“We are committed to reducing the impact of climate change through carbon sequestration and to helping create a sustainable environmental future. We’ve been working with The Nature Conservancy since 2020 to help restore the environment, and we’re excited to be supporting the first blue carbon coastal wetland restoration project in South Australia, near Webb Beach,” Ms Haas said.

Ms Rowe said that the restoration and long-term protection of a typical 250 ha coastal wetland means that, by 2100, approximately 20,000 tons of CO2 emissions will be removed from the atmosphere, making it an incredible opportunity to tackle climate change.

This project is supported by the European philanthropic organisation COmON Foundation and recent funding secured through the Australian Government’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. The project will help deliver the South Australian Government’s Blue Carbon Strategy.

If you would like to know more about our coastal wetland restoration work, please visit:

To arrange an interview with The Nature Conservancy, please contact Communications Manager Vanessa Billy on 0478 638 180.

To arrange an interview with Smartgroup Chief Operating Officer Sarah Haas, please contact Verity Edwards at Hughes PR on 0412 678 942.

Please feel free to like and share our facebook post HERE.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organisation dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we focus on getting things done efficiently and with the greatest positive impact for conservation. We’re a trusted organisation working in more than 70 countries and territories around the world on innovative solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. To learn more about The Nature Conservancy in Australia, follow us on Facebook.