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Strategic management and planning within estuaries seeks to identify a framework that enshrines sustainability. Any management initiative must address the issues of

Photo of portAchieving such an approach will need to take advantage of studies and research at a number of different spatial and temporal scales. These include:
1) global climate change initiatives,
2) catchment and estuary wide studies
3) work on specific features (banks, mudflats, etc).

They necessarily consider changes over timescales of seconds to thousands of years. Realistically, for strategic planning and management, the goal is to be able to predict, with a reasonable degree of confidence over a 20 to 50 year time horizon.

It is not yet possible and, indeed, may never be possible to make absolute predictions. Rather, it is necessary to identify probable/possible outcomes, as a basis for guiding management actions. This, in itself, requires managers and planners to move away from prescriptive interventionist approaches, towards more adaptive ones.

This guide seeks to provide an overview of how to identify morphological change within estuaries, as a basis for sound management. The layout is as follows:

The topic is a huge one and the guide only is intended to provide an introduction to some of the key issues. Extensive references have been included as well as a glossary of terms, for those who are less familiar with the subject. In addition, there is a number of supporting documents that provide further guidance, more detailed information on specific issues, or explore some of the theoretical background to certain topics.

Methods and models are evolving rapidly at the moment. In particular there is a lot of effort going in to research of complex systems, non-linear interactions and the prediction of change over relatively long time scales (10-100 years). This means that the guide presents a summary of current thinking. It is hoped that as techniques evolve the guide will be updated to reflect new developments.


Last Modified on: 19 June 2011
Printed from the Estuary Guide on 28/01/2022 22:11:05