Structure of the Network
Each year an adhoc Organising Committee is formed to develop and deliver a local conference, workshop and field trip. For example, the 2014 conference was hosted by the James Cook University TropWATER Centre in collaboration with MangroveWatch Ltd in Townsville, Queensland. This conference focused on shoreline rehabilitation and monitoring of both mangrove and tidal saltmarsh habitat, as tidal wetlands.
The format of each event is flexible, but a common pattern has been for single session talks, followed by a field trip, and a smaller workshop. We do note that most participants want greater opportunities for discussion around emerging issues, resulting in targeted actions. Each action depends on a champion to push it through while the Network provides an effective forum. Conference participation numbers range up to around 60 people for the main sessions. On occasion, a number may remain for the workshop. In 2015, for instance, 8 researchers are working together to prepare a major policy statement reporting on the status of tidal wetland management around Australia, due later in 2015.
Purpose of the Network
The AMSN has been established because while tidal wetland habitats around the world are being lost at an alarming rate, reclaimed for other landuses, polluted and reduced in value by a range of direct and indirect human pressures, all coupled with the emerging threats of climate change. All these factors contribute to the loss of habitat condition, resilience and functionality.
Intertidal habitats are critically vulnerable and highly threatened natural communities, especially because of sea level rise. It is of the utmost urgency that all stakeholders come together to collaborate in both the restoration of damaged areas, and the better manage of all tidal wetland natural habitats. For restoration, our members also plan for the ordered establishment of constructed tidal wetlands bordering built urban, industrial and port shorelines. In these settings, there is a place for gardened mangrove foreshores that will return a range of substantive physical, biological and aesthetic benefits. There are a world of creative opportunities available for such novel but potentially high value effective approaches to shoreline management in the 21st century.