Terrestrial Biodiversity Adaptation Research Network

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Urbanised estuaries

Hard Decisions and Soft Options: Developing a decision framework for adaptation of urbanised Australian estuaries to climate change that considers both property protection and ecosystem values.

This workshop was convened by Dr Melanie Bishop and Dr Sam Capon and took place at Port Stephens

New South Wales on 4th - 9th December 2011. Twenty-four participants discussed the question “Is adaptation of estuarine settlements always at odds with adaptation of ecosystems, or are there instances where goals of the two may overlap, and outcomes are complementary?” The workshop drew on expertise from four NCCARF networks: Marine Biodiversity and Resources, Freshwater Biodiversity, Terrestrial Biodiversity and Settlements and Infrastructure.

Over the first two days, participants engaged in a variety of discussions on climate change adaptation in estuarine environments, while the following day was spent working on the two main outcomes of the workshop. The first is a synthesis of how ecological and socio-economic goals for adaptive management of estuaries under climate change differ and overlap among stakeholder groups; the second is a typology of Australian estuaries that takes into consideration socio-economics, morphology and ecology, and that could be used for making decisions regarding climate change adaptation.

A report resulting from this workshop is currently being finalized:

  1. EK Davey, WL Peirson, AR Jones, M Beger, SJ Capon, RG Creese, B Edgar, WL Hadwen, TF Smith and RB Tomlinson (2013) Managing Estuaries for Resilience Under Climate Change: Integrating Socio-Economic and Ecological Goals and Proposing Appropriate Strategies. Water Research Laboratory Research Report 248. ISBN TBA