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Aquatic Conservation Assessments (ACA) and AquaBAMM

Aquatic Conservation Assessments (ACAs) are designed with the sole intent of identifying conservation values of wetlands at a user-defined scale. They do not consider social or economic values.

The Aquatic Biodiversity Assessment Mapping Method (AquaBAMM) used to develop the ACAs. AquaBAMM identifies relative wetland conservation values within a specified area—usually a catchment— using criteria, indicators and measures (CIM) that are based on a large body of national and international literature. The method was first trialled in the Burnett River catchment.

Find out more about accessing the data and reports on the get mapping help page.

The riverine and non-riverine data and reporting (information on specific environmental values, by location) may be accessed through WetlandMaps.

Information on specific environmental values, by location, is also available via Environmental reports online.

See the AquaBAMM information sheet or email biodiversity.planning♲

Aquatic Biodiversity Assessment Mapping Method

Quick facts


was originally developed in 2006 in the riverine wetlands of the Burnett River catchment. Since then the methodology, criteria and measures have been adapted to include riverine, non-riverine and estuarine wetlands.

Aquatic Conservation Assessments (ACA) and AquaBAMM

The Aquatic Biodiversity Assessment and Mapping Method (AquaBAMM) is a comprehensive method that identifies relative wetland conservation values within a specified study area (usually a catchment). AquaBAMM is used to produce an aquatic conservation assessment (ACA) of wetlands within that area. The results provide a powerful decision support tool that can be comprehensively interrogated through a Geographic Information System (GIS) platform.

Freshwater ACAs have been completed for all of Queensland (see table below).

In 2019, an ACA was completed for the subtidal and intertidal environments extending from just south of the mouth of Baffle Creek to north of the Fitzroy Rivers.

In 2022, the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (now the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation) commenced an update of the Queensland Great Barrier Reef connecting catchments (GBRCC) Aquatic Conservation Assessment (ACA) using the Aquatic Biodiversity Assessment and Mapping Methodology (AquaBAMM). For more information, see the Information Sheet.

ACAs provide a powerful decision-support tool that can be interrogated through online mapping or GIS platforms.

Results can be used in a wide range of applications including, but not limited to:

  • determining the priorities for protection or rehabilitation of, and on-ground investment in, aquatic ecosystems
  • assisting with local and regional water resource and planning processes
  • contributing to theimpact assessment of large-scale development
  • identifying aquatic assets
  • providing input to broader social and economic evaluation and prioritisation processes.
Study area Riverine (R)
Non-riverine (NR)
Estuarine (E)
Marine (M) and Springs (SP) metadata
ACA version Release date
Burnett River1 R 1.1 18/07/2006
Cape York Catchments R, NR 1.1 09/12/2012
Eastern Gulf of Carpentaria R, NR 1.1 30/06/2018
Southern Gulf Catchments R, NR 1.1 31/08/2020
Great Barrier Reef2 R 1.1 30/10/2009
Lake Eyre and Bulloo Basins R, NR, SP 1.1 30/06/2016
Great Barrier Reef2 NR 1.3 15/4/2011
Queensland Murray-Darling and Bulloo Basins3 R, NR 2.1 08/12/2022
Southeast Queensland R, NR 1.1 09/10/2015
Wide Bay-Burnett Catchments R, NR 1.1 12/11/2010
Aquatic Conservation Assessment - Queensland - combined layer 4 R, NR 2.1 31/10/2022
ACA related assessment (i.e. assessment has similarities, however does not strictly adhere to the AquaBAMM)
Baffle to Fitzroy Coast5 E, M 1.1 30/03/2019

1 The Burnett River Riverine ACA is superseded by the Wide Bay-Burnett riverine ACA, which includes coverage of the Burnett River catchment. The Burnett River Riverine ACA remains displayed in the table above due being the first ACA study.
2 The Great Barrier Reef Study ACAs include the following catchments: Baffle, Barron, Belyando, Black, Bowen, Boyne, Burdekin lower, Burdekin upper, Burnett, Calliope, Comet, Curtis Island, Daintree, Dawson, Don, Fitzroy, Haughton, Herbert, Hinchinbrook Island, Isaac, Johnstone, Mackenzie, Mossman, Mulgrave-Russell, Murray, Nogoa, O’Connell, Pioneer, Plane, Proserpine, Ross, Shoalwater, Styx, Tully and Waterpark. The Baffle Creek Riverine ACA is superseded by the Great Barrier Reef riverine and non-riverine.
3 The Queensland Murray-Darling and Bulloo Basins ACA includes the following catchments: Border Rivers, Condamine-Balonne, Maranoa, Moonie Basin, Wallam, Warrego, Paroo and Bulloo. This version supersedes the Bulloo assessment that was part of the Lake Eyre and Bulloo Basins ACA (2016), the Condamine River ACA (2009) and the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin ACA (2011).
4 Combined non-riverine layer for the following areas: Southern Gulf Catchments, Eastern Gulf of Carpentaria, Southeast Queensland, Lake Eyre and Bulloo Basins, Cape York Catchments, Queensland Murray-Darling and Bulloo Basins, Great Barrier Reef and Wide Bay-Burnett Catchments
5 The Baffle to Fitzroy Coast Common Conservation Values assessment, is not an ACA produced under the AquaBAMM. However, criteria adopted were derived from the AquaBAMM criterion.

Wetland on-line education modules

A series of on-line education modules, including Aquatic Conservation Assessment using AquaBAMM, is available for people who wish to learn more about wetlands.

The modules should be used in conjunction with the information on this website.

Pages under this section

Last updated: 23 September 2020

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2020) Aquatic Conservation Assessments (ACA) and AquaBAMM, WetlandInfo website, accessed 15 May 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation