Coastal Lake Assessment and Management (CLAM)

Coastal lakes are an important resource for their local and widespread communities because they provide important ecological, social and economic benefits. Uses for the land and water resources within a coastal lake catchment include urban development for local and tourist populations, agricultural and aquaculture production, and conservation of flora and fauna. Increasing demand on resources can create conflict over the use and sustainable management of the lakes. These issues are intricately linked, so the management of coastal lake systems requires knowledge of the processes and interactions between all key components of the system. This is a complex problem requiring the integration of often minimal information from various disciplines.

The Coastal Lake Assessment and Management (CLAM) tool is a decision support tool to inform of the potential impacts of management decisions on all key components of a coastal lake system. It is more than a software product as consultation with local stakeholders is an imperative component throughout the whole CLAM development process. The method used to develop a CLAM decision support tool, in short, involves collecting information about potential management decisions, and the key values of the lake, and integrating this into a single, simple tool. Training in the use and development of CLAM tools is available through the Australian National University.

The integration is completed using a Bayesian decision network (BDN). This approach is advantageous over other methods because it is suited to the rapid accumulation and integration of existing information sourced from observed data, model simulation and expert opinion, at various scales, from many disciplines. The BDN framework structure also inherently represents uncertainty in the input data but can be readily up-dated when new information becomes available.

The follow estuaries, creeks and inlets in NSW have had a CLAM developed, or one is under construction:

Back Creek, Back Lake, Belongil Creek, Berowra Estuary, Burrill Lake, Lake Cakora, Lake Cathie-Innes, Cobaki Broadwater, Coffs Creek, Coila Lake, Cudgen Lake, Dalhousie Creek, Deep Creek, Fiddamans Creek, Merimbula Lake, Myall Lake, Narrawallee Inlet, Queens Lake, Smiths Lake, Tallow Creek, Terranora Broadwater, Urunga Lagoon, Wallis Lake, Willis CreekLake Wollumboola, Woolgoolga Lake, Lake Wooloweyah.

For more information on the CLAM tools see

« Back to Glossary Index