Module 1





The Nature, Purpose
and Scope of
Coastal and Marine Studies



Workshop Outline

Materials Required

Further Reading



This module presents a series of activities which introduce the nature, scope and purpose of coastal and marine studies. The module shows that an environmental education perspective in teaching about coastal and marine questions, issues and problems can play a very important role in promoting the knowledge, values and skills that can help create sustainable environments for all organisms.

Note to Facilitators: This module introduces many of the key themes in the series of professional development modules designed to enhance the interest, knowledge and skills of teachers in coastal and marine studies. It is advisable that this module, or at least extracts from it, be presented first as it provides an important introduction to the teaching of coastal and marine studies.


The objectives of this workshop are:

  • to develop an understanding of the nature, scope and educational goals of coastal and marine studies; and
  • to develop an understanding of the contribution that coastal and marine studies can make to education for a sustainable environment.

Workshop Outline

There are four activities in this workshop:

  1. Introduction
    This activity is an icebreaker which promotes initial discussion about the major issues which will arise during the workshop. This activity also provides a framework for the evaluation component of this workshop. The objectives of the workshop are also introduced here.

  2. The Nature and Purpose of Coastal and Marine Studies
    This activity provides materials and advice for a mini-lecture that defines coastal zones and introduces workshop participants to the nature and importance of coastal and marine studies.

  3. The Scope of Coastal and Marine Studies
    This activity introduces participants to the inter-connectedness of social, economic, cultural and environmental aspects of coastal and marine areas. The activity concludes with a debriefing session which reinforces the interrelatedness of these issues.

  4. Conclusion
    The workshop concludes with participants reviewing their answers to the introductory activity in order to consolidate key themes in the light of the fresh perspectives and understandings gained from the module.

Materials Required

A. Provided

Overhead Transparencies

  Index Index of Overhead Transparencies


  Resource 1 Tea Party
  Resource 2

Ten Themes in Coastal and Marine Studies



  Reading 1 The Coastal and Marine Environment
  Reading 2 An Overview of Coastal Ecosystems and Their Values

B. To be obtained

  Activity 3 Ten coloured balls of wool; ten coloured pens (same colours as wool); ten sheets of chart paper and
group name labels for each participant.

Further Reading

Borgese, E. M. and Ginsbury, N. (eds.) Ocean Yearbooks, University of Chicago Press, published annually.

Davies, G. (1994) The Evolving Coast, Scientific American Library, New York.

Commonwealth Coastal Action Program (1996) Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People: Studies, Policies and Legislation, Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra.

Dale, P. (1991) Managing Australian Coastlines, Longman Cheshire Pty Ltd, Melbourne.

Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories (1996) Biolinks, Newsletter on Biological Diversity Conservation Actions, Issue No. 10, Biodiversity Unit, Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra.

Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories (1996) Coastal and Marine Schools Project, Stage 1 - Part 3: Identification of Best Practice, Final Report, Canberra.

Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories (1996) State of the Environment Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories (1995) Our Sea, Our Future: Major Findings of the State of the Marine Environment Report for Australia, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Canberra.

Underwood, G. and Chapman, S. (1995) Coastal and Marine Ecology of Temperate Australia, University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Manuel, M., McElroy, B. and Smith, R. (1995) Coasts in Conflict, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Moffatt, B. (1992) Marine Studies, Wet Paper Publications, Southport.

Warner, W.W. (1983) Distant Water, Atlantic Monthly Press, Boston.

Living on the Coast: The Commonwealth Coastal Policy, Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra, 1995.

Oceanus: The International Magazine of Marine Science, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, M.A.

The Siren, United Nations Environmental Programme, Nairobi, Kenya (Free quarterly newsletter on UNEP's Regional Seas Programs).


Adam, P. (1990) Saltmarsh Ecology, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Allen, J.R.L. (1992) Saltmarshes: Morphodynamics, Conservation and Engineering Significance, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Bennett, I. (1992) Australian Seashores, adapted from W.J. Dakin Australian Seashores, Collins/Angus and Robertson, North Ryde.

Carter, R.W.G. (1988) Coastal Environments: An Introduction to the Physical, Ecological and Cultural Systems of Coastlines, Academic Press, London.

Gilligan, B. (1990) Issues in Wetland Management, Department of Resources, Water Board, Sydney.

Gordon, N.D., MacMahon, T.A. and Finlayson, B.L. (1992) Stream Hydrology: An Introduction for Ecologists, John Wiley and Sons, Brisbane.

Hamilton, L.S. and Snedaker, S.C. (1984) Handbook for Mangrove Area Management, The East West Centre, Honolulu.

Hutchings, P. And Saenger, P. (1987) Ecology of Mangroves, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane.

Mathieson, A.C. (1991) Intertidal Littoral Ecosystems, Elsevier.

NSW Government (1992) Estuary Management Manual, NSW Government, Sydney.

NSW Public Works Department and Soil Conservation Service (1986) Beach Dunes: Their Use and Management, Sydney.

Pollard, P.C. (1993) Tropical Seagrass Ecosystems; Structure and Dynamics in the Indo-West Pacific, CSIRO, Australia.

Pollard, D.A., Middleton, J.M. and Williams, R.D. (eds.) (1991) Estuarine Habitat Management Guidelines, Division of Fisheries, NSW Agriculture and Fisheries, Sydney.

Pressey, R.L. (1987) Coastal Wetlands and Associated Communities in Tweed Shire, Northern New South Wales, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Sydney.

Raffaelli, D. And Hawkins, S. (1994) Intertidal Ecology, Chapman and Hall, London.

Ranwell, D.S. (1972) Ecology of Salt Marshes and Sand Dunes, Chapman and Hall, London.

Resource Assessment Commission (1993) Resources and Uses of the Coastal Zone: Coastal Zone Inquiry Information Paper No. 3. AGPS, Canberra.

Soil Conservation Service of NSW (1990) Coastal Dune Management: A Manual of Coastal Dune Management and Rehabilitation Techniques, Sydney.

Underwood, A.J. and Chapman M.G. (1993) Seashores: A Beachcomber's Guide, New South Wales University Press, Kensington.

Underwood, A.J. and Chapman, M.G. (1994) Coastal Marine Ecology of Temperate Australia, UNSW Press.

Our Sea, Our Future: Major Findings of the State of the Marine Environment Report for Australia. Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra, 1995.