Contemporary foraminiferal samples and environmental information were collected from three fringing mangrove environments (Sandfly Creek Transect 1 and 2, and Cocoa Creek) in Cleveland Bay, and an estuarine mangrove environment (Saunders Creek) in Halifax Bay, on the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR) coastline, Australia, to elucidate the relationship of the foraminiferal assemblages with the environment. The data support the vertical zonation concept, which suggests that the distribution of foraminifera in the intertidal zone is usually a direct function of elevation, with the duration and frequency of subaerial exposure as the most important factor. An agglutinated foraminiferal assemblage dominated by Miliammina fusca, Trochammina inflata, Ammotium directum and Haplophragmoides sp. exists at the landward edge of the field sites, in a zone between just above Mean Low Water of Neap Tides to Highest Astronomical Tide level (a vertical range of 1.8 m). In addition, a foraminiferal assemblage dominated by Ammonia aoteana is found at all sites, existing between just below Mean Low Water of Neap Tides and Mean High Water of Neap Tides (a vertical range of 0.8 m). These assemblages may be used to reconstruct sea level from fossil cores from the area.