While Victoria (and Australia more broadly) has a long history of weather variability such as storms, droughts and floods, climate change is projected to increase risks to coastal environments through drivers such as sea-level rise, change in wave-direction and increases in swell energy and storm tide events. These drivers affect coastal erosion, sediment supply and inundation and are expected to vary geographically across Victoria‘s coastal zone.

The VCMP aims to provide communities with information on coastal condition, change, hazards, and the expected longer-term impacts associated with climate change that will support decision making and adaptation planning. Partnerships with community groups (citizen science) and institutions to co-invest in coastal monitoring projects at both regional and local scales is central to the success of the VCMP.

Flow chart showing that Climate change can influence the causes (Sea-level fluctuation, Tides, Storms) and drivers (Sea-level change, Storm tide, Currents, Waves, Sediment supply) of coastal hazards (Coastal inundation, Coastal erosion).

Frequently Asked Questions

The VCMP will involve monitoring of wave climate and sediment movement in priority sediment compartments. Knowledge of sediment budgets helps to identify both which areas of Victoria’s open coast and embayments will be impacted first by sea-level rise, and whether they are likely to lose or gain sediment.

Sediment budgets are fundamental approaches in coastal studies for allowing estimates of sediment volumes entering and exiting a selected area of the coast, resulting in net erosion or accretion of that compartment under consideration. This assessment is crucial for understanding current processes and predicting future effects of sediment impact activities, promoting the sustainability of coastal environments over the next centuries.

Open Coast and Port Phillip Bay

DELWP is partnering with Deakin University and Melbourne University, which are leading monitoring of wave dominated sandy shorelines and exposed cliff shorelines. They will be collecting data on the change in height, extent and volume of sediment on beaches and shoreline, and the sediment dynamics in the adjoining sub-tidal waters using a variety of remote sensing imagery techniques and sediment sampling.

Western Port and Corner Inlet Embayments

DELWP is partnering with Monash University, which along with delivery partner’s Macquarie University, University of Wollongong and University of Melbourne is leading the monitoring of more sheltered mud flat and vegetated shorelines (mangroves and salt-marsh). They will be collecting data on sediment dynamics, changes in the extent of mudflats and adjoining saltmarsh and mangrove communities. The project includes assessments of coastal acid sulphate soils.

DELWP is working with expert oceanography partners from the University of Melbourne, Deakin University, CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology to determine the optimal location for a network of wave buoys off Victoria’s open coast. Once the buoys have been acquired and moored in the ocean, the data will allow downscaled models of how climate change will affect Victoria’s future wave climate.

The location of Victoria’s future network of wave-monitoring buoys will be finalised and published in late-2018.

Deakin University is seeking motivated citizen science groups to be fully-trained in the use of small aerial drones to monitor shorelines in either VCMP priority areas or other areas of the coast that have local stakeholder concern and interest. Deakin University is certified by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to provide this training. All drone-monitoring events are subject to permit requirements of the local land manager.

The citizen science coordinator will provide a drone and computer tablet to interact with the data stream. The group’s data is uploaded to a cloud server and processed, with fully geo-rectified results usually available in 5 hours after monitoring is completed. The approach allows fast assessment of changes (if any) in the volume, height and extent of sediment and other features. It can also be used, for example, to monitor changes in rock revetment walls and other structures.

For community groups wanting more information on possible involvement with citizen science monitoring using aerial drones, please email Dr Blake Allen (VCMP Citizen Science Coordinator) b.allan@deakin.edu.au

A second-pass state-wide assessment of erosion and inundation hazards resulting from future climate change scenarios was completed in late-2017 to inform the priority areas of Victoria’s coast that the VCMP will invest in.

View the 2017 report

The assessment has identified a number of sediment compartments that have highly erodible coastlines, and/or are likely to be subjected to greater extents of inundation from sea level rise or storm surges into the future. An example of the compartments assessed in the central region of Victoria is shown here. DELWP with partner land mangers such as local councils, committees of management and community stakeholders is in the process of finalising the priority compartment locations with the University partners. Further information will be published here in July 2018.

The location of Victoria’s future network of wave monitoring buoys will be finalised and published in late-2018.

More Information

For more information of the Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program please email vcmp@delwp.vic.gov.au

For community groups wanting more information on possible involvement with citizen science monitoring using aerial drones, please email Dr Blake Allen (VCMP Citizen Science Coordinator) b.allan@deakin.edu.au

For comprehensive information on climate change and coastal environments, including information of adaptation planning, please visit the National Climate Change Adaption Research Facility (NCCARF) website. The website offers a wide range of information materials, tools and datasets for coastal risk assessment and adaptation planning.

Page last updated: 26/10/2018