General risks to our coasts


Many of the pressures that affect our coasts are detailed in Section 2. Climate change is already having impacts on many aspects of the coastal environment, and these impacts will increase.

The future risks to coasts are the combination of risks to marine environments, and risks to estuaries and the terrestrial environments that stretch to the sea. Along the coasts, these risks are likely to be additive and sometimes interactive (e.g. pollution coming to the coast via rivers can interact with oceanic weather events). These risks are dealt with in detail in other chapters and are not repeated here. In summary, they include:

  • risks associated with atmospheric processes, especially climate change
  • risks associated with the expansion and future management of the built environment and related infrastructure
  • risks associated with inland waters as they flow to the coast, which themselves are affected by changes in land use and management
  • risks to terrestrial and marine biodiversity
  • risks to coastal cultural heritage.
Cork S (2011). Coasts: General risks to our coasts. In: Australia state of the environment 2011, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra,, DOI 10.4226/94/58b659bdc758b