Saltwater country

For saltwater people, all aspects of social, cultural, and economic life are intimately connected to the health of their coastal lands and seas.

The Northern Territory coastline, which has provided a continuous home to Aboriginal people for thousands of years, is often known as ‘saltwater country’. 

The many Aboriginal communities along the Top End coastline are intimately connected to saltwater country. With 85% of the coast owned by Aboriginal people, and coupled to their responsible management over millennia, much of the saltwater country is in near-pristine condition.

The marine and coastal habitats of the Top End are a natural treasure trove, their good health is essential to maintain culture, economy, lifestyle and livelihoods. Today, Aboriginal ranger groups manage land and seas under the guidance of the broader Traditional Owner groups, combining traditional and local Indigenous knowledge with conventional science.

Sylvia Nulpinditj Yolŋu leader


While our coasts are mostly in good shape, they are under threat. TAKE ACTION now, learn more of THE PROBLEMS, or scroll through more of what's special below.

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