Symposium report: Inaugural Australian Coastal Restoration Symposium

Globally, coastal habitat restoration is growing in recognition as a viable management tool to repair and reinstate valuable coastal habitats and species, such as mangrove and macroalgae forests, salt marshes, seagrass meadows, shellfish and coral reefs (Aronson & Alexander (2013), Restoration Ecology, 293; Anthony et al. (2017) Nature Ecology and Evolution, 1420; TNC (2017) Caribbean: A revolution to save coral reefs in the Caribbean and beyond). In Australia, there is increasing interest and investment in coastal restoration and habitat conservation, particularly with respect to growing national concerns around habitat loss, coastal inundation and erosion, loss of fisheries and climate change (Maggini et al. (2013) Protecting and restoring habitat to help Australia's threatened species adapt to climate change; GBRMPA (2017) Reef summit sets new course of action for the Great Barrier Reef). This has led to new community of practices being formed for shellfish reef restoration (Shellfish Reef Restoration Network, seagrass restoration (Seagrass Restoration Network, and saltmarsh and mangrove (Saltmarsh and Mangrove Network, conservation. However, despite this interest, there has been no national coordination, network or society with coastal restoration as a primary focus. The inaugural Australian Coastal Restoration Symposium brought together 60 Australian restoration practitioners, researchers and managers at James Cook University, Townsville for three days from the 31st of August 2017. The symposium goals were to enhance collaboration and national coordination amongst coastal restoration projects and practitioners, as well as to connect researchers and practitioners working in the restoration space with one another. Three international keynote speakers shared their experiences and advice. Delegates were enthusiastic about continuing to meet at future symposiu, meetings and workshops, and noted the value of being able to connect, share project experiences and learnings, and collaborate. The Australian Coastal Restoration Network has been formed with the goal of meeting annually to continue to share knowledge and improve collaboration.

View a video about the symposium by following this link –

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