The coastal zone has long been an attractive place for us to settle

Our coastal cities are vulnerable to extreme events and climate change. Cities Research Institute is seeking dynamic solutions for coastal protection. Our goal is resilient coastal cities and informed coastal residents. Keeping the coastline resilient has a major social, environmental and economic importance for coastal communities.

In Australia, 80% of us live on the coast. While this lifestyle brings many benefits, we are becoming increasingly aware of the vulnerabilities that come with living in areas prone to coastal erosion and rising sea levels. Coastal cities are vulnerable to climate change and extreme events, such as the devastation caused by Cyclone Debbie as it swept along the East Coast of Australia. We need to understand how we can make our coastline more adaptable to these threats.

Ongoing research plays a significant role in helping to tackle the problems of coastal erosion, inundation and in developing more effective management and adaptation.


Dr Darrell Strauss heads up the Coastal Resilience theme. His current research interests address the major challenges to coastal community of natural hazard and climate change.

Project Researchers

Research impacts

Storm surge modelling

Our Coastal and Marine Research Centre (formerly known as the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management) has modelled coastal processes on Queensland’s coastline, creating a comprehensive understanding of natural disasters. Through the Queensland Government’s $1.4 million Smart State Research–Industry Partnership Fund, the centre researched coastal erosion and inundation impacts of extreme storms. Further funding of $1 million granted by the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation directed the centre to undertake research on storm surge modelling. Predicting where extreme storm impacts were likely to be experienced improved emergency management decision-making during extreme tropical cyclone storm tide events.


Partnering with the City of Gold Coast and DHI Water and Environment, the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management delivered its SmartRelease research project to ensure sustainable and improved management of recycled water release on the Gold Coast. This helped save ratepayers a considerable sum of money by deferring the $60 million duplication of the release pipeline. Research outcomes of the Centre have been applauded by Engineers Australia Queensland and the state branch of the Australian Water Association. For over a decade, the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management (now known as the  Coastal and Marine Research Centre) has partnered with the City of Gold Coast to initially develop a Shoreline Management Plan, and to provide ongoing coastal engineering research in support of the plan’s implementation. The plan provides recommendations to protect the City's beaches in times of major storm erosion events taking into consideration community, environmental and economic factors. The Centre also delivers a coastal community education program to enhance understanding of the coastal environment and the City's world-class beach management.

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