Further opportunities to improve the protection of SA’s coast include:
- Implementing recent government commitments to employ coast-specific rangers, increasing investment in sand replenishment and retention, funding seagrass meadow restoration, limiting harmful stormwater runoff and habitat restoration through the establishment of shellfish reefs.
- Implementing the 2013 Conserving Australia's Marine Environment: Key Directions Statement of the Australian Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which makes 23 recommendations, all of which remain relevant today. Those below, which are also consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, are considered particularly important for SA:
- Enhance efforts to reduce marine pollution
Significant, measurable improvements have been achieved in reducing pollution of coastal waters through implementing the Adelaide Coastal Waters Improvement Plan. More can be done in relation to management of urban stormwater, including using water sensitive urban design and targeted regulation of pollution from all other sources.
- Maximise marine and coastal ecological health for climate change adaptation
In support of the 3 adaptation priorities (Actions 63–65 under the SA Climate Change Adaptation Plan) identified above, the coast and marine environment has an essential role to play in climate mitigation. The better the ecological health of the coast, the more powerful will be its mitigation role.
- Increase support of community activities and citizen science
Active participation by the broadest possible range of interested and affected parties in coastal monitoring and research has a broad range of benefits, including building shared stewardship and improving knowledge and appreciation across the community.
- Communicate marine benefits
Effective communication of the values of the coast and the consequences of a range of policies, actions and behaviours for degrading or enhancing those values is likely to alter behaviour in a way that would improve protection of the coast:
- improving knowledge – the 2018 Trend and Condition Reports for coastal saltmarsh and mangrove vegetation show that the condition of these assets are unknown, and the report for subtidal reefs shows that both the trend and condition are unknown. Noting the significance of these natural assets, it is important to improve knowledge about their condition and changes therein for future reporting and to inform effective management
- applying new technology – there are significant opportunities in the use of advances in satellite imagery and new technologies, such as underwater, floating or aerial drones for data collection. This could include partnerships with experts, such as the Adelaide University’s Drone Hub.