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The Kimberley's famous Horizontal Falls site will be protected through the creation of a 160sqkm national and 3000sqkm marine parks, the State Government said today

But existing iron ore mines on Koolan and Cockatoo islands will continue to operate.

Both parks will be Class A reserves providing "the highest possible protection" for natural and cultural sites, Environment Minister Bill Marmion said in a statement this morning.

The Horizontal Falls marine park will cover nearly 3000sqkm south of Camden Sound, including Talbot, Collier and Doubtful Bays and Walcott Inlet.

The park will protect coral reefs, dolphins, and mangrove systems, he said.

But the reserve will continue to be used for recreational fishing and tourism, Mr Marmion said.

"Existing pearl leases will remain and the creation of the marine park will help ensure continued high quality water for pearling," he said.

The Great Kimberley Marine Park will now stretch 26,000sqkm from Horizontal Falls to Cape Londonderry.

The park will be jointly managed by traditional owners the Dambimangari people, and Indigenous land use and joint management agreements will be negotiated and draft management plans for both areas will be released for public comment," Premier Colin Barnett said.

Final borders will be determined after consultation with traditional owners and other stakeholders, the statement said.