The coastal zone is valued by many communities who rely on these diverse systems to meet fundamental needs and established ways of life. Located in the dynamic and transitional space between the marine and terrestrial ecosystems, the coastal zone is one of the most biologically productive ecosystems directly supporting the nutritional needs of many communities and indirectly supporting many others through contributions to marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
The coastal zone is also valued for aesthetic, recreational and spiritual amenities and attracts significant numbers of permanent residents and tourists. Globally, over 2.2 billion people live within 100km of the coastline1. In Australia, almost 90% of the population lives within 100km of the coastline1 and coastal tourism was worth $20 billion (2000-4)2.
The pressures of climate change (e.g. sea level rise and storm surge) and development in the coastal zone will significantly impact coastal communities and all those that benefit from coastal services.