World Harbour Project


The unusual nature of harbours and ports—as a setting for high levels of human activity, such as shipping, industry, tourism, fishing and sometimes recreation—can complicate management efforts. Worldwide there is a movement towards sustainable development of urbanised systems, both on land and in the ocean.

For this to be effective, managers must take in to account the biological, physical, social and economic resources contained within harbours.

Management teams must possess a broad range of skills to meet this challenge and the WHP aims to contribute to the pool of knowledge and the development of young people to address the growing problems faced in managing these complex systems.

The WHP, through its USA partners, has strong links to the New York Harbour High School’s Billion Oyster project (1) and the US-Australia Virtual Environmental Partnership (2).

Furthermore, the New York University, Abu Dhabi, has state of the art infrastructure for online and remote learning through its Marine Biology Lab (3). The WHP also has a strong foundation in postgraduate teaching opportunities via its Spanish partner ‘Campus do Mar’ in Vigo, an International Campus of Excellence in marine science (4).

The aim is to strengthen these links with further partnerships in urban coastal stewardship to train young scientists and reach out to harbour users, both public and private. For more information on this workgroup.

For more information on this workgroup, contact


Click here to access the World Harbour Project publications archive.


Should you be interested in becoming a research or commercial partner of the WHP, or simply require further information on any aspect of the project globally, please phone +61 2 9435 4600 or email


Establish an Education Working Group with an Education Representative from each Partner City

As a starting point, the Education Representative will gather information on all the courses offered in English that would be relevant to the topics involved in the World Harbour Project.

This would enable the Working Group to assess if courses are already offered, whether the courses have online content, or focused field classes, and then identify gaps that might be filled by the WHP team.

The aim is to draft an Education Plan by mid to late 2015 to be implemented in 2016. The primary goal will be to institute broadly taught graduate courses and build on the New York initiative—habitat restoration harnessing the power of filter-feeding oysters.


Public Education and Dissemination of Local Information About Harbours

The WHP is currently working on a special issue of the journal Regional Studies in Marine Science. Each partner is producing a short review of their harbour, describing its bio-geo-physical setting and outlining its opportunities and problems.

One page fact sheets for each harbour will be derived from these reviews and used in public science communication. In addition, each group will produce a short three minute video presentation which we will post on Facebook, Twitter and the WHP website.

As with all WHP work, all partners have full access to the pool of knowledge and resources to use for education, outreach and to inform managers and researchers about the work being accomplished. Conference presentations and open forums are also planned for the future.