Stream 4: Integration
- Brett Molony and Tim Nicholas
- Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Government of Western Australia, Australia
Estuaries in developed and developing nations typically share common characteristics;
- Highly valued by local communities
- Dense urban (and growing) populations exist along their shores
- Industries are often located along the shore for access to water, transport and waste disposal
- They support extractive (e.g. fishing) and non-extractive (e.g. boating, viewing) amenities
- There are often multiple and diverse management entities and government departments that ‘manage’ activities within an estuary and catchment
- There are often legacy issues of pollution, water extraction and waste disposal, that impact current status
- Water extraction from the catchment has reduced flows
- Likely among the first aquatic systems to experience the effects of climate change due to changes in rainfall, temperature (increasing eutrophication) and sea level rises.
There may be need for a new paradigm – that management arrangements and objectives for each estuary may need to be individually tailored; some will focus on amenity, others on urbanisation. They can’t all be ‘saved’.
This session aims to consider estuaries as an ecosystem in which human activities and values are a component and consider multiple dimensions (biological, ecological, economic, social, food security, amenity etc.) to develop potential options for management approaches for 21st century estuaries.