Each summer we are privileged in Sydney to have a community program termed Summerama. This is coordinated by the Sydney Coastal Councils Group (SCCG) and involves programs run by ten councils from Northern Beaches to Sutherland and by the SCCG itself. The programs aim to reacquaint people of all ages with marine and coastal treasures across a diverse array of activities. Read More

King tides and extreme events

This Summer has been awash with extreme ocean water levels reaching positions rarely seen in the past along the NSW coastline. On two occasions the tide gauge at Fort Denison reached levels only exceeded three times since the more accurate self-recording tide gauge was installed there in 1916. Such events raise questions as to why these summer king tides resulted in exceptionally high water level events, whether similar events will occur more frequently in the future, and what are the long-term consequences. Read More

Coastal Geomorphology 101

Any course in coastal geomorphology today would be vastly different to what I experienced in 1959 at Sydney University. It was a year of great change in subject matter not just for me as a student but also for our lecturer, Trevor Langford-Smith. Read More

Bruce Thom Blog - Speaking Truth to Power

In the summer edition of The Monthly, in an article on the former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, the comment was made on how little the work she had devoted most of her life to –academic research—mattered in the public realm. Read More

National Surfing Reserves

On 2 December, 2017, there was a dedication ceremony to constitute Bondi as a National Surfing Reserve (NSR). As the headline in the Wentworth Courier stated: “It’s official: Bondi is iconic”. The article went on to say the ceremony will justify this status as Australia’s most visited beach. Bondi is the 20th Australian beach to be declared a surfing reserve recognising the pioneering role it has played in the development of surfing in our country. Read More


Beachrock is a hard sedimentary formation consisting of beach sediments which have been lithified through the precipitation of carbonate cements. They commonly crop out on the modern beach and point to the complex interaction of groundwater and seawater at the shoreline. Read More

Higher Tides

Recently the NSW media was, well, awash with news articles on the high tides being experienced along the NSW coast. What caused the higher tides and how do they compare with historic tide levels? Read More

Keeping the Murray Mouth open

Maintaining an open mouth of the Murray River in South Australia was a key objective of the Murray Darling Basin Plan (MDBP). The Basin Plan was established by the Australian Government to address the chronic over-allocation of water for irrigation and other purposes. One aim of the MDBP was to recover more water for the environment including sufficient water to maintain an open mouth without the need for dredging most of the time. Following a review of the MDBP by the Wentworth Group it appears that this objective will not be meet. Read More