Why does CoastSWaP exist?
It is often difficult for volunteers, staff and organisations to find the time or resources to effectively share information to other stakeholders who may find this useful. For example, sharing information on a successful interpretive education or rehabilitation project that could be implemented in other local government areas. By providing regular forums with key stakeholders, the opportunity exists for this type of information to be shared along with other discussions regarding coastal planning and management topics. This also promotes possibilities to develop partnerships and co-operative initiatives. Many coastal issues exist across organisational boundaries, therefore by bringing these people and organisations together they can combine resources and assets and develop initiatives which tackle the issues on a larger scale more efficiently and effectively.

The coastal planning and management framework in the South West is very complex, with a large number of Local Governments, Government agencies and community groups involved. Compiling and managing a database and sharing relevant contacts as required assists key stakeholders to get in touch with the right people and receive support and advice where required. CoastSWaP’s current database comprises of over 200 contacts and this is being updated and added to regularly.

CoastSWaP can be regarded as a conduit of coastal planning and management information. Committee members and staff are in regular contact with coastal stakeholders and often key information is provided. Where relevant this information will be shared during the sub-regional and regional forums, in the bi-annual newsletters and also through direct communication in person, via email or through phone conversations. This ensures that wherever possible groups and organisations receive the information they need to develop sustainable coastal planning and management initiatives and therefore can better protect and care for our south west coastal and marine environment.

How is CoastSWaP different to the Peron Naturaliste Partnership (PNP)?
• Different areas – The PNP concentrates their activities between Rockingham to Busselton whereas CoastSWaP has focused its attention from Mandurah to Walpole since 1990.
• Different issues – The PNP focuses primarily on Coastal Climate Change Adaptation (mostly in regards to sea level rise and coastal vulnerability) whereas CoastSWaP is focused on what has been traditionally termed as ‘Coastcare’ or the care and protection of natural coastal and marine environments. This includes the protection of coastal dunes and associated native flora and fauna, and providing sustainable low impact coastal access (both 4wd and pedestrian).
• Different levels – The PNP focuses more on higher levels of coastal planning including working with the federal, state and local governments. CoastSWaP however works mostly with coastal land managers (primarily environmental officers and local rangers) and community volunteer Coastcare groups.
• There is definitely a similar range of stakeholders, issues and areas that the PNP and CoastSWaP work with (for example local governments and protecting sand dunes as natural defences from sea level rise), therefore both organisations work closely together and share information on a regular basis. Having these two groups ensures a more holistic and integrated approach towards coastal planning and management in the south west of Western Australia. Recently in July and August 2014, the PNP and CoastSWaP have worked together to develop a series of Coastal Climate Change Adaptation community information sessions in Bunbury, Preston Beach and Mandurah. By partnering together this has strengthened the link between grass roots community and high level government planning.

How is CoastSWaP different from the South West Catchments Council (SWCC) or Peel Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC)?
Different areas – The PHCC encompasses the area from Kwinana to Harvey and the SWCC encompasses the area from Bunbury to Walpole. CoastSWaP’s boundary stems from Mandurah to Walpole.
Different focus – SWCC’s two coastal facilitators are currently focusing on on-ground community projects in specific locations across the South West and developing a strategic South West action plan to identify priorities for on ground and community engagement projects (including coastal photo-monitoring and coastal 4wd use). Various other community engagement and on-ground projects are carried out by SWCC with coastal NRM objectives, such as water quality improvement in the Vasse-Wonnerup wetlands and the Home River Ocean campaign.

The PHCC is currently still developing its NRM strategy as a newly formed regional (as opposed to its former sub- regional role) NRM body therefore their specific direction in regards to coastal planning and management is unknown at this stage.

CoastSWaP sees these bodies as key stakeholders with similar roles in regards to coastal planning and management. However CoastSWaP does not engage in specific on-ground work projects or develop long-term behaviour change programs. With the main impetus on bringing coastal stakeholders (including SWCC and the PHCC) together to share information and ideas on coastal matters, CoastSWaP can focus on compiling and disseminating this information regularly across a broad coastal network through its updated database, forums and planned website and newsletters. In a nutshell, CoastSWaP is bringing the stakeholders and information together to assist the NRM bodies develop and carry out their specific coastal projects. Currently SWCC Coastal Facilitator Jen Mitchell is working closely with CoastSWaP by attending forums and sharing information on current projects as well as providing advice to assist with CoastSWaP’s long term planning. SWCC has had a strong working partnership with CoastSWaP in the past and this will continue into the future, with SWCC recently agreeing to contribute funding annually to CoastSWaP as well as provide staff and resources where available and required.

Are there any similar organisations to CoastSWaP?
The South Coast Management Group (SCMG) is a regional representative body of coastal planners, managers & community delegates along the South Coast of Western Australia. The group was formed at a similar time to CoastSWaP and has continued strongly to this day. The SCMG and CoastSWaP are the only two regional coastal planning and management groups in Western Australia. Due to the SCMG’s ongoing success, CoastSWaP will endeavor to emulate this model and liase with SCMG to assist in enhancing CoastSWaP’s capacity. For more on the SCMG, visit www.southcoastmanagementgroup.org.au

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