Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 15–22 | Cite as

Examining the potential impacts of sea level rise on coastal wetlands in north-eastern NSW, Australia

  • Clement Elumpe Akumu
  • Sumith Pathirana
  • Serwan Baban
  • Daniel Bucher


The coastal wetlands of north-eastern New South Wales (NSW) Australia are increasingly being affected by anthropogenic factors such as urbanisation, residential development and agricultural development. However, little is known about their vulnerability to sea level rise as a result of climate change. The aim of this research is to predict the potential impact of sea level rise (SLR) on the coastal wetland communities. Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) was used to predict the potential impacts of sea level rise. Geographic Information System (GIS) was used for mapping and analysis. It was found that a meter rise in sea level could decrease coastal wetlands such as Inland fresh marshes from about 225.67 km2 in February 2009 to about 168.04 km2 by the end of the century in north-eastern NSW, Australia. The outcomes from this research can contribute to enhancing wetland conservation and management in NSW.


Sea level rise Wetlands SLAMM Impacts GIS Australia 



We would like to acknowledge the assistance received from Dr. Kerrylee Rogers at NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, Thanks to Michael Wood in Richmond River City Council who supplied part of the DEM data. This work is supported from funding obtained from the Australian Government and Southern Cross University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clement Elumpe Akumu
    • 1
  • Sumith Pathirana
    • 1
  • Serwan Baban
    • 2
  • Daniel Bucher
    • 3
  1. 1.Geoinformatic Research and Analysis Group (GRAG), School of Environmental Science and ManagementSouthern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia
  2. 2.University of KurdistanErbilIraq
  3. 3.Marine Ecology Research Centre, School of Environmental Science and ManagementSouthern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia

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