Stream 1: Environment
- Rebecca Morris1, Allyson O’Brien1, Nathan Waltham2, Marcus Sheaves2, Dongdong Shao3, Tao Sun3
- 1University of Melbourne, Australia
- 2James Cook University, Australia
- 3Beijing Normal University, China
Human activities continue to compromise the utility of coastal transitional waters as productive habitats essential for aquatic life. Multiple stressors resulting from land reclamation, shoreline hardening, exotic species invasion, saltwater intrusion, eutrophication, extreme weather events and sea level rise pose severe threats to estuaries and coasts. The severity of these impacts requires not only problem diagnosis, but also novel solutions and innovations that will enhance the capacity of coastal communities and ecosystems to adapt to stressors.
Solutions for adaptation in coastal environments include ecological engineering and restoration to alleviate impacts of artificial defence structures. Blue carbon provides opportunities to harness the carbon sequestration capacities of marine habitats and enhance ecosystem resilience. Direct adaptation options are also being developed for individual species under threat (e.g. controlling vectors of disease in vulnerable marine birds). Solutions may also include interdisciplinary approaches to managing coastal environments that bring managers, scientists, industry, traditional owners, and local communities together to improve ecosystem management and adaptation.
Government investment into repair and adaptation of coastal estuaries requires assurance that this investment will return crucial ecosystem services including biodiversity provision, coastal defence, carbon sequestration and habitat provision. Contributions from managers and scientists concerning the assessment of the status and evolution of the system under rapid environmental changes, its inherent eco-physical processes and mechanisms, as well as the implications for repair and adaptation are also welcome.