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ISSUE 01  |  NOVEMBER 2019  |


Welcome to the inaugural issue of WA Coastal News, a publication by the Western Australian branch of the Australian Coastal Society. The purpose of this newsletter is to share information regarding policy, programs, projects, on-ground activities and other items across our member base and to the broader Western Australian coastal community. 
Our members represent a range of groups, each playing a vitally important role in contributing towards the sustainability of our beautiful coastline. By sharing information across our growing network we hope to raise awareness, support collaborations and build a community of interest in the Western Australian coast. This collaborative venture is critically important as the impacts of a changing climate, population growth, and scarce resource investment, impact our coastal areas. 

I have recently stepped into the position of State Chair, following from Jo Ludbrook. Jo has done an amazing job ensuring ACS WA is in a position to provide a strong voice for our community through partnerships with natural resource management groups (for example, WALN) and others, and through her tireless work in the South West of Western Australia. Jo remains an active member of the WA branch, and is Chairperson of the Australian Coastal Society. Together we look forward to working with you to learn about and advocate for, a vibrant and sustainable Western Australian coast.

Carmen Elrick-Barr
ACS WA State Chair


To keep things brief, our news highlights are summarised here. Click on any links that interest you or simply read keep scrolling for further detail. Please feel free forward this newsletter through your coastal networks. 
Over the last few months ACS WA has been actively working with a range of stakeholder groups to advocate for the West Australian coast. We:
  • Commenced working with the NRM Stakeholders Group: ‘Sparkle
  • Co-chaired the coastal theme of the State NRM and Coastal Conference
  • Continue to sit on the WA Landcare Network
We are also seeking to:
For further details on all of the above, click here
  • Plastic waste as a cashable commodity
  • Scientists promoting a more nuanced understanding of climate change
  • Climate denial and its impact on the policy settings of local governments in Australia
  • Re-building in vulnerable coastal areas in the US
  • Flooding of coastal towns in Britain
If you would like more information on any of the stories listed, more about the newsletter itself, or if you have content for our next edition, please contact:

ACS WA has recently commenced working with the NRM Stakeholders Group, referred to as Sparkle, which has the objective of working together to support the community effort to protect the environment. ACS WA also sits on WA Landcare Network to represent coastal interests. 

Coastal Community Network in WA
In October, the State NRM and Coastal Conference was held in Western Australia. ACS co-chaired the coastal sub-committee of the Conference. The need for a collective response to manage the challenges facing our coastal areas was resoundingly heard during the conference. In particular, the role of Coastcare, or a similarly functioning program, was identified as vitally important in supporting community engagement and delivering on-ground works. As an outcome, several participants indicated a willingness to work together to develop a Coastal and Marine Community Network. ACS WA has commenced discussions with Perth NRM to kick-off what we hope will be the beginnings of such a network here in WA. If you are interested in participating, please let us know. 

Climate Change Policy Paper
We are also in the final stages of preparing a submission for the WA Climate Change Policy Paper. If you have any comments regarding the Policy Paper (from a coastal perspective) please get in touch. We are seeking to pull together contributions from our network to deliver the ACS WA submission by the closing date of the 29th November 2019. 

Get involved!
We are keen for our members to be actively involved in ACS WA. Let us know how you would like to participate in our ongoing activities, from engaging with stakeholders to be a voice for the WA coast, to collecting stories for WA Coastal News, to participating in the development of our strategic plan, and more. Many hands achieve greater outcomes and make light of work, so we would love to hear from you! 

On the 8th November, Commonwealth and State Ministers for the Environment met in Adelaide for the Meeting of Environment Ministers (MEM) - one of eight governance forums of COAG. 

Coastal erosion and inundation were discussed, with the following agreed statement: 

Coastal erosion and inundation was acknowledged as a risk that requires a collaborative approach from all levels of government. Ministers agreed to establish an intergovernmental working group to collate existing information on coastal erosion and inundation hazard risk management and propose a collaborative approach to coastal erosion for consideration through a future meeting of environment ministers.

Full statements made at this and previous meetings are available here

The State Government has released a comprehensive report outlining the scope and scale of coastal erosion across Western Australia, and potential options for managing areas of risk. It identifies 55 locations across Western Australia - 15 metropolitan and 40 regional – that have varying levels of risk that will need collaborative solutions. An additional 31 locations have been placed on a watch-list for future monitoring. The estimated cost for managing the 55 locations could be up to $110 million over the next five years, with additional funding required in the long term. Report available: 

Associated news stories: 
•    The WA beaches most under threat from coastal erosion
•    A coast being slowly eaten by the ocean

The State’s coastal planning policy (SPP2.6) requires Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Planning (CHRMAP) to be undertaken where existing development is in an area at risk of being affected by coastal hazards. To support implementation the Western Australian Planning Commission published CHRMAP Guidelines in 2014. These were recently reviewed and revised, with the updated Guidelines published in August. It is an improved and expanded step-by-step, how to guide for coastal planners to develop a framework for managing the risk arising from coastal hazards.  Five new appendices provide detailed guidance and examples for undertaking specific assessment within the stages of the CHRMAP process. Available here.

Congratulations to the City of Rockingham, winners WA Coastal Awards ‘Local Government Award’ for their recently development CHRMAP. The award recognised commitment and contribution to the planning and management of Western Australia’s coast.



The University of Western Australia has been engaged by the Peron Naturaliste Partnership (through funding provided by WA Department of Transport) to set up nine CoastSnap sites along the PNP coastline. CoastSnap, originally developed at UNSW, allows the community to contribute to beach monitoring by inviting them to take and submit photos of the beach. Over time, CoastSnaps record erosion and recovery cycles, and long-term changes, helping researchers to understand why some beaches are more dynamic or resilient than others. Site selection is currently being finalised and the sites will be up and running in early 2020.  For more information visit CoastSnap.


Interested in coastal vulnerability studies undertaken in Western Australia? 
The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage maintains the Coastal Vulnerability Assessment Western Australia(CVA WA) projects list: a tool to track and refer to projects relevant to the assessment of coastal vulnerability. By allowing greater awareness and sharing of knowledge and methodologies, this tool can contribute to the ongoing improvement in the assessment and understanding of coastal vulnerability



Researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast are undertaking case study research, focusing on one local government area in each Australian State, with the aim of discovering innovative coastal governance approaches that embrace vulnerability and social-ecological change. Case study sties were selected based on rate of population growth at the suburb level; and in Western Australia, the City of Rockingham is the selected case-study area. A project website is currently under development and will be available in the second quarter of 2020. 



The winners of the WA Coastal Awards for Excellence were announced in October. The awards are held every two years to celebrate the achievements of groups and individuals involved in protecting and managing Western Australia's coast. 
The community award went to the Cottesloe Coastcare Association (Inc) for their significant contribution to the improvement and enhancement of Western Australia’s coastal environment; and a Special Commendation was awarded to Friends of Point Peron. Other award winners are listed here.

Walter and Rae Kolb, SNEC, receiving the award from Amanda Elizabeth, Vice Chair of the UNAAWA Environment Committee, and Gentleman from Voyager


Author: Hannah Gulliver, Coastal & Marine Manager, Perth NRM
Stirling Natural Environment Coastcare Inc. (SNEC) is a passionate group of community volunteers who are integral in the conservation, protection and promotion of natural resource management along the City of Stirling’s 6.8 km strip of coastal reserves. The success of SNEC’s on ground action to improve the biodiversity, habitat values, and erosion control measures in these now greatly improved dune systems can be attributed to their innovative approach to monitoring and maintaining the area, as well as a collaborative approach to management. 
Rae and Walter Kolb, Convenor and Works Coordinator from SNEC tell us “the secret to success is to use the process, carry out project goals and follow-up with monitoring and maintenance.”
SNEC were delighted to receive the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) WA Division’s Environmental Action Award in October of this year, which comes in large part as a result of their innovative baseline methodology used to measure the ecological, economic and social effectiveness of coastal management. This methodology developed and implemented with Dr. Judy Fisher (Fisher Research), has been so successful that it is “now promoted to the wider local, national and international communities as a case study of best practice for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Ecosystems and Invasive Species Thematic group, Theme Ecosystems and Invasive Species” says Judy.
‘The Environmental Action Award recognises individuals or organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the protection, restoration of the environment and/or contribution to the awareness of environmental issues to further the UN Sustainable Development goals (UN SDG’s).’
The practical implementation of this process has enabled management expenditure to be efficiently targeted, with measurable outcomes against baseline and future reviews. In this, SNEC’s meticulous record keeping has been a vital complement to the City of Stirling’s management processes. SNEC has worked in collaborative partnership for more than 10 years with the City, as coastal land manager, and continued to benefit from Perth NRM’s Coastal and Marine Program support, along with on ground support from Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA), and many other organisations. 
Through the development and implementation, and especially the open sharing, of this innovative methodology, along with SNEC’s guiding principles of promoting the protection, awareness, and advocacy for the coast, SNEC values all of the UN SDG’s with emphasis on 11 Sustainable cities and communities; 13 Climate action; 14 Life below water; 15 Life on land; and 17 Partnerships for the goals.  
Local champions spreading the secret for success! 

Check out or Contact SNEC at:
SNEC in action at Waterman’s Bay, Stirling



A special issue in Regional Environmental Change (Volume 19, Issue 7) presents articles that apply the Robustness of Social-Ecological Systems Framework to better understand the complex situation in coastal settlements (competing priorities, transfer of risk, high population density and urbanisation and high vulnerability). 
Within this issue, an article by Bonte et al. (2019) explores transfers of vulnerability and their consequences with local stakeholders. They found adaptations on the local regional scale make it possible to cope temporarily with the pressures of global change by transferring those pressures to other sub-regions, sectors, or even other scales. They also found that urban growth linked to strategic retreat adaptations, which was identified as the major pressure, could be partly dealt with by trade-offs involving negotiations between several sectors in several places and at several scales. ‘Games’ adopted to highlight interactions across decision contexts is an interesting way to engage decision-makers in the outcomes of different choice options.  



The #VirtualBlueCOP25 is an initiative of Future Earth, LOCEAN, and partners, to create a virtual platform on ocean and climate-related themes relevant for the upcoming COP25 to be held in Chile from 2-13 December 2019. In addition to scientific sessions, it will provide innovative methods of knowledge sharing and real-time videos to maximize participation from coastal to ocean locations. Moreover, live insights and updates on the international climate-ocean negotiations at COP25 will allow real-time discussion and analysis for diverse participants such as scientists, activists, comedians, farmers, artists, decision-makers, and musicians. 

ACS seeks to support information sharing, to contribute to debates on coastal issues, and to promote understanding and knowledge of the WA coast. Through a regular newsletter we hope to provide an avenue for our members and others to share information. Knowledge sharing can uncover synergies and opportunities for collaboration and raise awareness of the amazing work happening along our beautiful coastline. 


Please contact to share information about your coastal area. 

Here are just some of the things we would love to hear about: 
  • Projects and programs: Research programs, management actions/strategies, development plans…… what is being implemented and why?
  • Events and activities: Scheduled clean ups, plantings, social activities.
  • Interesting facts about your coastal area: What is unique about your coast? What recent happenings would interest the broader coastal community? E.g. fauna sightings, storm events. 
  • Your coastal community needs: Are your coastal community groups looking for volunteers for events/activities? Do you have openings for more membership? If so, who should our readers contact?  
  • Lessons learned: What has been successful, or not, in your management, research and/or community activities. What lessons can you share with others? 
  • Finally, what information you would like to see in a newsletter: e.g. funding opportunities, employment opportunities, ACS progress/activities and how you can be involved?
Note: Contribution to the newsletter is not limited to ACS members. We would love to know what is happening in your local coastal zone so that we can deliver a representative view across regions and sectors. So please, let us hear from you!


As a volunteer, non-profit organisation, ACS needs active membership to drive change. Being a member provides you with access to connect with national coastal networks, leading coastal experts and to be engaged in coastal management discussions. It also enables you to contribute your thoughts, ideas and concerns and drive initiatives, whether they are local or national, and be rewarded with conference and other professional development discounts. 
Not ready to become a member, but would love to keep up to date with ACS activities? Contact us and we will place you on the mailing list:
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