Climate change tool to help coastal communities prepare

More than 200 coastal councils across Australia will be able to better protect themselves against erosion and flooding threats with a new tool that provides them with almost everything they need to prepare for climate change impacts.

The beta version of a coastal climate risk management framework, CoastAdapt, was launched this week in Melbourne by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) at a meeting with local, state and national leaders in coastal management.

CoastAdapt brings together a diverse range of information, maps, guidance, and Australian and international examples of coastal adaptation in three main sections:

– Current reliable information on all aspects of coastal management affected by climate change including access to nationally consistent data sets.

– A decision support system known as C-CADS, which takes users through the steps to determine what response is necessary, the timing of actions, costs as well as how to monitor and evaluate the results.

– An online forum for the community of adaptors where they can share problems, news and ideas. Coast councils can put their relevant area into the website and get detailed information on sea level rises and flooding threats until 2100.

Storm surge, king tides and erosion


“Managing the coast is an important priority for Australia as we plan for the challenges associated with climate change,” said Professor Jean Palutikof, director of NCCARF, based at Griffith University.

“Australia’s highly urbanised coastal zone already faces flooding risks from storm surge, king tides, beach erosion, and cyclones and these risks will only increase with projected climate change impacts of more intense storms and sea level rise.

“What sets CoastAdapt apart is its authoritative advice and guidance that has been developed with sustained and extensive stakeholder input.”

While CoastAdapt is based on the latest peer-reviewed science and has been extensively reviewed by technical and non-technical users, it is presented in an accessible style to make it easy to use, even for users without a technical background.

In developing CoastAdapt, NCCARF incorporated input from about 700 coastal decision makers through an extensive consultation process.

Nine local governments and one industry group have also been involved as tool development partners to provide detailed feedback on both the structure and content of the tool.

Decision-makers are being given early access to the beta tool to provide feedback before it is finalised in February 2017.

CoastAdapt is funded by the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy. For more information visit the NCCARF website.