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The Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program (VCMP)

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.

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.

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