It is difficult to synthesis an overall picture of the research work that is in progress on coast and wetland systems in Australia. As usual with scientific endeavour most of the projects appear to be highly specialised, fragmented and unco-ordinated. Indeed, one wonders if any attempt is being made to bring complementary scientific results together so that a more holistic view can begin to appear. The amounts of money being expended on marine research in Australia are quite substantial. Funding of research in marine sciences and technologies by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the CSIRO and the Antartic Division of the Department of Science and Technology totalled $18.7 million for 1982. In addition $1.9 million were allocated for research projects in tis area to a variety of government and educational institutions. This can be compared into $17.9 million allocated by the Australian Research Grants Committee and $34.9 million allocated under the National Water Resources programme.