Managing the Coast
Tasmania's coast is a valuable and irreplaceable asset with diverse and sensitive natural and cultural values that require protection. Coastal landscapes of dunes, beaches, rocky shorelines, coastal wetlands, estuaries and saltmarshes support important vegetation communities and wildlife habitat. Tasmania's coast is also rich in Aboriginal heritage values and an important part of contemporary Aboriginal culture.
Diverse and significant coastal wildlife, including migratory shorebirds and waders stopover on Tasmanian wetlands, and shorebird species, hardly seen on mainland Australia, nest on more remote beaches. The cool temperate coastal waters contain significant marine communities including vast seagrass beds, kelp forests and a very high level of endemism (species only found here).
With the launch of the Coastal Works Manual in
December 2010, there is a now a significant improvement in information
to help decision makers who work on the coast. The Coastal Works Manual
can be downloaded from this section and provides information on how the
coast is formed, types of coastal landscapes, and management approaches
to climate change, illegal tree clearing, dog access and public access
ways to the beach.
In the past, Tasmania's coastline has hosted industries
and economies ranging from shipping and transport, whaling and sealing,
through to mining of lime. Today coastal areas provide essential port
infrastructure and are critical to transport and shipping operations. A
number of heavy industries have been established on the coast, primarily
to make use of the supply of water for cooling, and other industries
such as fishing and aquaculture are intrinsically reliant on coastal
Beautiful or iconic stretches of coastline are often the
site of tourism ventures and developments such as resorts, caravan parks
and golf courses. Extensive coastal areas adjacent to our cities and
towns are prime real estate for coastal subdivisions whilst more remote
locations often have coastal shack communities.
Tasmanians are fortunate to have such an abundance and variety of coastal areas to
enjoy for recreation, and they have a long association with living and
recreating on the coast. No place in Tasmania is more than 115km from
the sea and most population centres and major industries are on or near
the coast (Page and Thorp 2010).
Tasmania has a remarkably long
coastline for its size, due to a highly indented shoreline with large
estuaries, harbours and embayments, and many offshore islands, including
those in the Furneaux Group and King, Maria, Bruny and Macquarie
Islands (Sharples 2006). Tasmania has a longer coastline than Victoria
and NSW combined (Mount 2001).