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Symposium focuses on advancing coastal restoration

The 2024 Australasian Coastal Restoration Network symposium was held at the University of Sydney.

The 2024 Australasian Coastal Restoration Network (ACRN) symposium was recently held at the University of Sydney, bringing together key professionals working in coastal, estuarine, and marine restoration.

The ACRN is one of several programs hosted by James Cook University’s TropWATER that support conservation and management of tropical coastal and marine ecosystems.

TropWATER’s Associate Prof Nathan Waltham, Professor Jim Wallace, and Dr Amrit Mishra presented at the symposium, discussing their work on coastal wetland restoration - specifically on tidal wetland blue carbon, hydrology, and connectivity and biodiversity - to more than 100 attendees.

The audience at the 2024 ACRN symposium at the University of Sydney. Photo: Megan Saunders.

Associate Prof Waltham, ACRN Network Leader, said the annual symposium was a key activity for the network.

"Nature repair is critical to restoring and retaining coastal habitats, which are degrading at an alarming rate across Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea,” he said.

“This conference provided an important platform for scientists and professional to connect, share knowledge and explore ideas within coastal, estuarine, and marine ecological restoration sectors.”

The symposium had seven unifying themes spanning case studies and experiments, lessons learned, longer term studies, methodologies, restoration challenges and solutions, and socioecological integration and impact.

Attendees of the 2024 ACRN symposium. Photo: Megan Saunders.

The second day included a half-day workshop on marine and coastal nature repair, led by the Australian Government and CSIRO including Dr Megan Saunders (co-Leader of the ACRN), consolidating information needed to plan investment programs for nature repair in Australian marine and coastal habitats.

The ACRN supports professional networking and information sharing and aims to increase awareness and educate the public on the value of conserving and restoring coastal habitats. It also acts as a resource for members to find current funding opportunities, projects, workshops, conferences, and other useful information.

The network has over 500 members across Australia and New Zealand, representing government, universities, non-government organisations, community, natural resource management, industry and consultancy institutes. For more information, contact ACRN co-Lead Associate Prof Nathan Waltham.


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