Marine and Coastal Basics

The Marine and Coastal Environment Group (MCEG) provides the Australian Government with geoscientific advice and products to inform management and regulation of Australia’s marine jurisdiction.

A major focus of the MCEG is to generate scientifically rigorous geoscience products which have application to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 External site link, the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973 External site link, the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 External site link, and the Antarctic Treaty System External site link. In addition, MCEG research supports the National Co-operative Approach to Integrated Coastal Zone Management – Framework and Implementation Plan External site link.

The MCEG has the following functions within Government:

  • Support environmental regulation of Australia’s offshore oil and gas industry
  • Support management of Australia’s National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas
  • Maintain the regulatory spatial framework for Australia’s marine jurisdiction
  • Support Australia’s Antarctic interests
  • Take stewardship of Australia’s marine and coastal geoscience-related data and information
  • Provide logistical and technical support for Geoscience Australia science programmes.

The group provides advice to the Australian Government and industry in the form of maps and associated reports and research publications that document indicative regional spatial patterns of seafloor physical characteristics and associated biodiversity. The MCEG also maintains and co-ordinates delivery of coastal and marine data and information through two online web portals: the Australian Marine Spatial Information System and OzCoasts, and Australia’s marine samples database – MARS.

The group also represents Australia in the United Nations Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment and has membership to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

Within Geoscience Australia the group supports many other activities through the provision of technical advice and completion of shared science programmes on topics such as offshore petroleum prospectivity, climate change and groundwater.

Topic contact: marine@ga.gov.au Last updated: June 25, 2013