All South Australian coastal councils are exposed to changing climatic conditions. Some are already directly responding to the effects of enhanced erosion and flooding. The challenges faced by SA’s coastal councils vary considerably. There also exists great variability among councils in terms of their resourcing, capacity, and readiness to act. It is not known how successfully councils are adapting. There is much to be learnt from councils’ collective experiences across South Australia.

With funding from the Department of Environment And Water’s Coastal Research and Development Grant scheme, CASPR has commenced a project that will evaluate implementation progress of adaptation actions by all coastal councils across South Australia.

In keeping with national trends and priorities, much effort has been exerted in South Australia on coastal adaptation planning. South Australia has developed a tiered adaptation program guided by the state’s strategic framework and implementation plan, and has invested in regional and local government risk and vulnerability assessments and adaptation plans.

It is not clear the extent to which existing adaptation plans have proven to be effective, or whether they are being implemented. This lack of evidence presents a key limitation for further progress in preparing for and responding to change. Developing this understanding can provide the basis for an integrated and well-coordinated framework for coastal adaptation investment and guidance.

There is therefore great scope for this CASPR study to directly inform development of statewide policy, as well as policy for specific coastal local councils.