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Curtin University
Coastal Collaboration Cluster

About the cluster

Google Earth Participatory Mapping Workshop with Rottnest Island Authority, WA. Image: G. Burke Google Earth Participatory Mapping Workshop with Rottnest Island Authority, WA. Image: G. Burke

The Australian coastline is renowned for its beautiful beaches and towns. These iconic places are an important part of the lives of most Australians. It's where we live, play and holiday. But what does the future hold for these iconic areas?

Our coasts are used for many purposes such as urban and industrial development, fishing, recreation and tourism, marine protected areas, ports and dredging, and offshore oil and gas developments. Coastal ecosystems and human communities also face mounting pressure from loss of wetlands, pollution, population growth and climate change.

A major three-year research program

- the Coastal Collaboration Cluster
- will develop approaches to better connect science with the needs of governments, communities and industries in meeting these challenges.

Funded by CSIRO's Flagship Collaboration Fund, the cluster will integrate diverse social sciences to investigate how to help coastal communities maintain economic and social values while using ecosystems more sustainably.

The cluster's research will extend over southern Australia, from the south-west of Western Australia to South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and south-east Queensland.

Building knowledge and tools

The cluster aims to develop understanding and tools to help Australians sustain our coastline for future generations by enabling them to make better use of the knowledge produced by scientific research.

The cluster partners will identify the key social and institutional barriers that inhibit the uptake of science in the coastal zone. They will look at ways to introduce and apply the best knowledge available to coastal policy-making and planning processes, so that Australia can better manage changing coastal pressures.