People on a beach

Our coasts are used for many purposes including recreation and tourism.

Coastal Collaboration Cluster: meeting coastal challenges

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

  • 14 April 2010 | Updated 8 July 2013

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.

What the Cluster will do

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

In doing this the Cluster will:

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

The Cluster will encourage better collaboration between scientists and decision-makers, so that research outcomes can be more easily used in coastal-zone management.

Initiated through CSIRO’s Flagship Collaboration Fund, the Coastal Collaboration 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 and south-east Queensland.

Working together

Researchers will look at the most effective ways of communicating between groups, and will then work with these groups to gather information for improved coastal planning.

As part of their research, the partners will engage with:

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

Workshops, surveys and interviews will be used to gather information.

The partners will undertake research in different locations then pool 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 brings together researchers from across Australia with a wide range of expertise.

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

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

Use these links to learn more about CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship and Climate Adaptation Flagship.