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The paper proposes an environmental monitoring framework based on a wireless sensor network technology characterized by energy harvesting, robustness with respect to a large class of perturbations and real-time adaptation to the network topology. The fully designed and developed ad hoc system, based on clusters relying on a star topology, encompasses a sensing activity, a one-step local transmission from sensor nodes to the gateway, a remote data transmission from the gateway to the control center, data storage in a DB and real-time visualization. Hw and Sw modules have been either carefully selected or designed to guarantee a high quality of service, optimal solar energy harvesting, storage and energy awareness. A monitoring system integrating the outlined framework has been deployed in Queensland, Australia, for monitoring the underwater luminosity and temperature, information necessary to derive the health status of the coralline barrier. At the same time, acquired data can be used to provide quantitative indications related to cyclone formations in tropical areas.