Australia’s coastal and freshwater aquatic ecosystems are highly complex and dynamic, and are home to more than 85% of the Australian population. This situation puts great pressure on the ecosystems, and means that complex management responses are needed. Although some data collection programs exist (eg monitoring in coastal and freshwater ecosystems), many of the interactions between biophysical factors, time, weather conditions, management actions and changing climate are poorly understood.
ACEF linked past and ongoing research, future data collection, and the integration of knowledge by:
To provide a national infrastructure for coastal ecosystem science, ACEF addressed key challenges such as coordinating and improving access to coastal data; providing seamless data across subtidal and terrestrial environments; improving monitoring and mapping; and tracking the movement of rare, endangered and sentinel species.
ACEF was focussed on providing answers to the following research questions:
ACEF leveraged existing national investments in eResearch infrastructure and worked closely with the Australian Ocean Data Network (AODN), Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) and with other TERN Facilities. ACEF delivered its products to the community through the AODN and TERN’s Central Data Discovery Portal to provide a distributed archive and access capability of existing coastal information. ACEF also contributed datasets for the National Plan for Environment Information (NPEI) and the second National Coastal Vulnerability Assessment.
ACEF also integrated its activities with the OzCoasts website to present an integrated, transparent view of coastal information for a variety of users.