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Coastal ecology

Beaches and dunes

Most beaches in Queensland are backed by vegetated sand dunes, which are very effective coastal protection features that absorb the erosive energy of waves generated by cyclones and storms. Vegetation on the dunes traps and holds sand blown from the beach and stops it being blown inland. Read more about conserving our beaches and dunes.

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest and most complex reef system, consisting of thousands of coral reefs and hundreds of continental islands, reef islands and cays. It is one of the most biologically diverse systems on earth and contains habitats for a number of rare and threatened species.

Marine habitats

Australia’s coastline stretches from the tropical north to the cool temperate zones, enabling a wide variety of marine life to thrive in our waters. But this biodiversity is under increasing pressure from human activity. Understanding more about our marine habitats will help us appreciate their value and encourage us to work to protect them.

Last reviewed
6 November 2015
Last updated
12 April 2011