Stream 4: Integration

Estuaries in the 21st Century – a new paradigm
  • 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.

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Supporting Publications
Organised by
  • Elsevier
  • ECSA
Supported by
  • Perth Convention Bureau
  • tourism
Silver Sponsor
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
  • Harry Butler Institute
  • Emecs
  • Anthropocene
  • Deltares
  • Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
  • Marine biophysics
  • Wetlands Research Association Inc.