Dialog Box


Living Seawalls: Supporting Biodiversity

Living Seawalls : Supporting Biodiversity in a Highly Urbanised Environment


Over the last two centuries, humans have rapidly and dramatically altered the global landscape, with marine ecosystems among the most modified and threatened globally. In NSW, the loss and fragmentation of ecologically important habitats through urban marine expansion represents a significant and pervasive challenge facing the future sustainability of the marine environment.

In Sydney Harbour alone, over 50% of the shoreline has been modified by artificial structures such as seawalls with this loss projected to continue in response to continued human population growth and climate change.

In this hands-on workshop students will develop an understanding of the key drivers of human-induced change in estuarine environments, and the consequences of these changes to critical ecosystem services and functions. Students will use scientific and geographic research methods to critically evaluate ecosystem-changes in Chowder Bay to provide recommendations for their improvement.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand the value of natural habitats in supporting biodiversity and ecosystem function and how ‘marine ocean sprawl’ leads to changes in ecosystems.
  • Critically evaluate existing seawall designs and provide recommendations for their improvement.
  • Practice field sketch techniques and geographic research methods
  • Perform an assessment of Living Seawalls Habitat Panels using ecological measurement tools including sampling and analysis of biotic assemblages.
  • Learn how to integrate the methods, guidelines, and principles of ecological engineering to redesign seawalls for improved ecological outcomes.

Workshop is subject to change. Minimum student numbers apply.

For more information about the program:

T: (02) 9435 4600
E: education@sims.org.au