PROJECT 2.11: Establishment of the National Centre for Coasts and Climate – Phase 1
Despite considerable knowledge about climate change and its impacts on marine and terrestrial habitats in coastal ecosystems, there has been very little change in the way coasts are governed in Australia. The local governments responsible for coastal management do not always get the science-based information at the scales they require.
We’ve established the National Centre for Coasts and Climate (NCCC) at the University of Melbourne to work with stakeholders to identify the best ways of addressing climate change impacts in Australian coastal ecosystems. Through the NCCC we’re investigating how coastal vegetated habitats store carbon, and how climate change is likely to impact on coastal erosion. We’ll use this knowledge to develop ecological engineering solutions to enhance the capacity of coastal ecosystems to adapt to climate change.
Phase 1 of the NCCC is developing methods to evaluate sensitivity and impacts of climate change and trialling solutions for coastal and marine environmental management challenges in Victoria. Phase 2 will expand these activities to other locations in Australia. Ultimately this work will assist in the development of nationally coordinated policies and approaches for adapting Australia’s coast to climate change.
For more information
Prof. Stephen Swearer, University of Melbourne
This project is contributing to meeting the following climate challenges:
This project establishes a means to engage directly with coastal managers and develop useful information and tools they can use in their work. Our research into blue carbon and coastal erosion will inform management practices and adaptation activities.
Our investigation of blue carbon (carbon stored in marine and coastal habitats) will reduce uncertainty in regional carbon accumulation rate estimates and improve our understanding of the impact of coastal vegetation on the carbon cycle.
Publications and papers
- Barnett J, Head L, Konlechner T, Swearer S, Leitch A. 2017. Report on the Climate Change Adaptation workshop for the Tiwi Land Council. University of Melbourne Report.
- Kennedy DM, Konlechner T, Zavadil E, Mariani M, Wong V, Ierodiaconou D, Macreadie P. 2017. Invasive cordgrass (Spartina spp.) in south-eastern Australia induces island formation, salt marsh development, and carbon storage. Geographical Research, 56(1), 80-91, doi:
- Konlechner TM, Kennedy DM, Cousens RD and Woods JL. 2019. Patterns of early-colonising species on eroding to prograding coasts; implications for foredune plant communities on retreating coastlines. Geomorphology, 327, 404-416 | Pre-print version
- Morris RL, Konlechner TM, Ghisalberti M, Swearer SE. 2018. From grey to green: Efficacy of eco-engineering solutions for nature-based coastal defence. Global Change Biology, 1-16, doi: 10.1111/gcb.14063 | Abstract