chapter  3
Operationalizing integrated coastal and oceans management in Australia: The challenges
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Australia’s coasts are currently subject to many pressures including declining water quality, record population growth, coastal development, increased tourism, loss of habitat, weeds and introduced pests, lack of information, capacity, and compliance and enforcement. These pressures need to be managed for future economic growth and environmental health. Such management presents Australia with a continuous challenge. The challenge is enhanced by the competing interests of coastal uses, the complex jurisdictional arrangements that exist for coastal zone management, and cumulative impacts of decision making in the coastal zone – the “tyranny of small decisions.” To address these challenges, the Coasts and Clean Seas Initiative was launched in 1996, the Australian Coastal Atlas project in 1997 and numerous marine protected areas (MPAs) have been announced since 1996. Additionally, a new National Coastal Policy to facilitate further integrated coastal management is currently being investigated by the Commonwealth Government.