Freshwater ecosystems of the Hinchinbrook Channel region are comprised of diverse habitats such as waterfalls, rainforest lined creeks, deep floodplain lagoons, shallow sedge and paperbark swamps, ephemeral creeks and farm dams. The Herbert River is the largest river in the Wet Tropics region and its discharge of water, sediment and nutrients is critical to the marine food web of the Hinchinbrook estuary. Surface water is also central to the existence of people, native land animals, semi-aquatic species (e.g. platypus, waterbirds, frogs, sedges) and purely freshwater fauna and flora (e.g. rainbowfish, aquatic lilie) as well as species with at least one life stage dependent on freshwater (e.g. many insects, freshwater eels, jungle perch).