Scientists are charting the challenges and benefits of repairing nearshore ecosystems to inspire and guide the resurgence of these wellsprings of marine health and productivity.
Shellfish reefs and saltmarshes are vital to the health of Australia’s bays and estuaries, supporting marine life and fish production, regulating water quality and curbing coastal erosion. But these valuable nearshore eco-systems are in serious decline due to coastal development and activities such as intensive agriculture. Reparation efforts have begun in some locations, with the promise of significant benefits. Further projects, however, hinge on increasing awareness and joint investment among governments, businesses and the community.