Surf Life Saving Australia are collaborating with Researchers from Bond and Griffith Universities on a two-year, national beach valuation study that will help inform the future management of Australia’s beloved beaches and coastlines under threat from climate change and severe weather events.
The Gold and Sunshine Coasts in Queensland, Clarence Valley in northern New South Wales, the Surf Coast of Victoria and Margaret River in West Australia will all be put under the spotlight, with tourists and residents in each area to be surveyed on their beach use.
“Partnering with large scale academic bodies is very valuable to Surf Life Savings Australia and we look forward to evidence-based ways in which we can enhance the efficiency of future coastal management,” said Surf Life Saving Australia’s National Research Manager, Dr Shauna Sherker.
Over 16,000 surveys will be mailed to residents in the selected locations over the next month. Residents may also elect to participate in an online survey at www.mybeachmysay.com
“We encourage the residents of the study areas to participate in the survey so we can in turn develop tools that will assist coastal planners and decision makers to assess the socioeconomic impacts of climate change.”
“This study highlights the importance of research to predict how current beach recreational values and visitations could be impacted by adverse events such as extreme weather events, and coastal erosion related to climate change,” she said.
“Knowing the values that beaches and coastlines generate can help inform the appropriate allocation of resources to preserve and protect them,” said Principal Investigator, Associate Professor Mike Raybould from Bond University.
Funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency on behalf of the Australian government, the study will assist SLSA, as well as local Councils and the State and Federal governments with coastal management strategies and funding allocation.
All individual responses to the survey will be confidential and the overall results will be reported towards the end of 2012.