Sunflowers and hope

Late each spring I open a packet of sunflower seeds, place them into egg cartons and nurture them ready for transplanting. Watching them grow and bloom is a joy. They are now in flower on the verge delighting neighbours and especially kids. Their smile in seeing these flowers is one of those little pleasures that I have come to appreciate in otherwise gloomy times. Sunflower beauty early in the year is refreshing and symbolises hope for better times ahead. Read More


Fifty years ago I had my first encounter with the Moruya River, the town, the airport, the old granite quarry, and the beach system to the north of the river entrance. Ever since this area has been one of great importance on the NSW coast, the focus of attention not just by me but by many others interested in coastal evolution and dynamics. It remains so today... Read More


On 17 November, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) released a report in their Climate Change Impact Series on “actions of the sea”. A highlight was the statement that the ICA estimates Australian governments will need to invest $30 billion in large scale coastal protection and adaptation projects over the next 50 years as climate change makes coastal communities, properties, and infrastructure increasingly vulnerable. Read More


On 29 October, the Minister for the Environment released NCRAS ahead of COP 26 in Glasgow. Quite clearly debate on emissions control has dominated this conference. Emphasis on impacts of climate change, especially to developing nations has attracted considerable attention. However, we are all aware that Australia is highly vulnerable to both natural disasters and longer-term effects of climate change. Read More


Fifty years ago I was introduced to a young family in Canberra—the Eliots. Father Ian had commenced his PhD research supervised by John Chappell at the ANU. At the time I was a new Research Fellow keen to get into coastal studies and looking around for like-minded people on the campus. Read More

Sydney Harbour: Impact of contamination studies

Many have written on the beauty and values of Sydney Harbour. Over the years water health scientists have continued to bring to the attention of politicians, waterway managers and communities consequences of continual supply of contaminants into the harbour and the management challenges which must be addressed to maintain and improve this iconic waterway. This is Bruce Thom's 200th ACS Blog Read More

Geological indicators of seabed mobility - Narrabeen Beach (Sydney, Australia)

There are many gems hidden in the unpublished literature. They can reflect our knowledge from decades ago but are just as relevant to our understanding of shoreline evolution and coastal processes today as they were when first prepared. One such report, prepared for the Australian and Overseas Telecommunications Corporation in 1988, is "Seabed mobility in south-eastern Australia - the Narrabeen Beach embayment". Read More