Many state of the environment reports around Australia and the world do not include a chapter on coasts, considering them under the topics of land, water and the marine environment. The State of the Environment Committee preparing this report considered that the unique characteristics of coastal environments, the strong focus on coasts in Australian culture and settlement patterns, and the growing concern about the convergence of social, economic and environmental issues around our coasts warranted a chapter discussing the key issues.
Like other chapters in this report, this chapter is structured loosely around a framework of drivers, pressures, state, impact and response (DPSIR). However, the committee considered that there are insufficient data specifically relating to coasts to support the detailed assessment used in other chapters. Conclusions about the condition of coastal environments, factors affecting condition and the effectiveness of management responses are therefore drawn primarily from other chapters of the report. We have considered ongoing risks, resilience and outlook together in a general discussion section, drawing on both insights from other chapters and additional information that is specific to coasts.