Coastal Collaboration Cluster

The Coastal Collaboration Cluster – a major three-year research program – developed approaches to better connect science with the needs of governments, communities and industries to meet coastal challenges.

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.

They also face mounting pressure from population growth and climate change.

On this page:

About the Cluster

Using techniques such as Google Earth and custom-built animations, the CSIRO National Research Flagship Coastal Collaboration Cluster focused on making scientific, community, indigenous and managerial knowledge available to coastal policy-makers and planners.

In doing this the Cluster:

  • identified the social and institutional barriers that inhibit the uptake of science and other knowledge in the coastal zone
  • developed understanding and tools to overcome these barriers and to help Australians sustain coastlines for future generations
  • worked to make approaches to coastal sustainability more sophisticated and collaborative.

Initiated through CSIRO’s Flagship Collaboration Fund, the Coastal Collaboration Cluster integrated diverse social sciences to investigate how to help coastal communities maintain economic and social values while using ecosystems more sustainably.

The cluster’s research extended over southern Australia, from the south-west of Western Australia to South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and south-east Queensland.

Working together

Researchers looked at the most effective ways of communicating between groups, and worked with these groups to gather information for improved coastal planning.

As part of their research, the partners engaged with:

  • scientists
  • local government authorities
  • state governments
  • non-government organisations
  • Indigenous leaders
  • the community.

Workshops, surveys and interviews were used to gather information.

The partners undertook research in different locations then pooled their information to generate a big-picture result.

The results will be published on a website for everyone to use, including the public, coastal stakeholders and scientists.

The partners

The Cluster brought together researchers from across Australia with a wide range of expertise.

Professor David Wood from the Curtin University of Technology led the cluster. The other research partners were:

  • Deakin University
  • Flinders University
  • The University Adelaide
  • Sunshine Coast
  • University Tasmania
  • University of Wollongong
  • CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans and Climate Adaptation Flagships.

Book published

This research contributed to a book, Sustainable Coastal Management and Climate Adaptation: Global Lessons from Regional Approaches in Australia, published in 2012.

This book explores the evolution of coastal management in Australia and provides critical insights into contemporary experience and understanding. It concludes with a chapter of recommendations, which can help guide coastal management and research around the world.

The book is available from CSIRO Publishing.