Marine Vegetation Management Strategies: a framework for estuary wide prioritization of protection and rehabilitation
Intertidal systems are constrained by landscape morphology. Where these systems do occur, they often experience a wide range of anthropogenic impacts, further exacerbated by sea-level rise (SLR). By mapping natural morphological constraints, anthropogenic impacts and modeled SLR, at an estuary-wide scale the Marine Vegetation Management Strategies (MVMS) identify and prioritize sites and interventions that could address key threats and risks to the system enabling rehabilitation. Development of MVMS is part of an initiative within the broader New South Wales (NSW) state government's Marine Estate Management Strategy to deliver healthy coastal habitats. The MVMS are being developed to take a policy of “no net loss of key fish habitats” toward more active management of intertidal systems that maximize and sustain the ecosystem values and services. Spatial indicators were developed for a pilot estuary (Tweed River) to map and quantify “macrophyte potential” which is defined as the capacity for macrophytes (mangrove and saltmarsh) to deliver ecosystem services now and into the future (under scenarios of SLR). The approach incorporates datasets which indicate the geophysical nature of the landscape, anthropogenic exposure, and vulnerability to SLR. This strategic science-based approach is being rolled out across coastal NSW, with the mapping products and associated resources identified as key tools to assist in the adopting of a more integrated approach to managing coastal wetlands.
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New South Wales Government