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The Australian coastline is renowned for its beautiful beaches and towns. These iconic places are an important part of the lives of most Australians. It's where we live, play and holiday. But what does the future hold for these iconic areas?

Our coasts are used for many purposes such as urban and industrial development, fishing, recreation and tourism, marine protected areas, ports and dredging, and offshore oil and gas developments. Coastal ecosystems and human communities also face mounting pressure from loss of wetlands, pollution, population growth and climate change.

A major three-year research program - the Coastal Collaboration Cluster - has developed approaches to better connect science with the needs of governments, communities and industries in meeting these challenges.

Funded by CSIRO's Flagship Collaboration Fund, the cluster integrated a range of diverse social sciences to help coastal communities maintain economic and social values while using ecosystems more sustainably.

The cluster's research extended over southern Australia, from the south-west of Western Australia to South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and south-east Queensland.