From Conflicts to wise practice agreement and national strategy: cooperative learning and coastal stewardship in estuarine floodplain management, Tweed River, eastern Australia

Date

2007

Authors

White, Ian
Melville, Michael D
MacDonald, Bennett
Quirk, R
Hawken, R
Tunks, Mark
Buckley, D
Beattie, R N
Williams, John
Heath, Lance

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Elsevier

Abstract

Appropriate information, participatory processes and wise practice agreements are key elements in reducing conflicts over the use and management of coastal resources. In this work we describe the evolution of a cooperative learning approach to coastal floodplain management, incorporating these elements. Government-encouraged drainage of coastal floodplains in eastern Australia caused accelerated oxidation of acid sulfate soils and export of diffuse acidic drainage into streams. Major impacts on infrastructure, ecology, fisheries and aquaculture resulted. In the Tweed River estuary, in 1987, all gilled organisms were killed by acid discharge from floodplain canelands. This generated major conflicts between fishers, environmentalists and sugarcane producers. The cooperative learning partnership that evolved, involving cane farmers, local government, and researchers, has produced better strategies for managing sulfidic estuarine areas and mitigating impacts on downstream ecosystems. These underpinned mandatory best practice management guidelines for the NSW sugar industry. Increases in productivity and decreases in acid discharge have resulted. Fish kills on the Tweed and elsewhere also generated broader, parallel whole-of-government approaches that led to Australia's national strategy for managing coastal acid sulfate soils and the rapid adoption of information and strategies across Australia.

Description

Keywords

Keywords: Coastal engineering; Drainage; Estuaries; Learning systems; Oxidation; Soils; Acidic discharge; Coastal stewardship; Diffuse source pollution; Wise practice agreements; Flood control Acid sulfate soils; Acidic discharge; Coastal floodplain management; Cooperative learning; Diffuse source pollution; Wise practice agreements

Citation

Source

Journal of Cleaner Production

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1016/j.jclepro.2006.07.049

Restricted until

2037-12-31