Coast to Coast Hobart 2018

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Another great C2C. This time in Hobart under the leadership of Chris Rees, Eric Woehler and their team.

I must take this opportunity of thanking the organising group and the sponsors for all the effort in arranging a full week of activities that will stay in our memories for a long time. Chris, in particular, has made such an enormous contribution to coastal management in Tasmania over many years. I have had on several occasions referred to him as Mr. Coastal Tasmania! He once again demonstrated his skills and understanding of what it takes to present a national event while enabling participants to enjoy the delights of Hobart and surrounds and meet and greet each other.

C2C was last held in Hobart in 2004. Chris was a key organiser. He was then in the public service striving to achieve integrated coastal management; in fact I believed he was the integrator looking after state policy and management and assisting in the dispersal of federal Coast and Clean Seas funds. The Commonwealth was actively involved in the organisation and payment of costs of the 2004 conference, something that has become markedly less apparent in recent years. It was also a time when there was a strong push by the state government to allow the development of a huge canal estate at Ralphs Bay (more on this later). It was also the time for the birth of ACS.

The need for a society to bring together common coastal management interests became apparent at C2C 2004. Various ideas were thrown around and the opportunity to consolidate these ideas was provided to a group of us to follow up after the meeting. It was possible at C2C in Melbourne to place a resolution before participants to form a company limited by guarantee. At C2C in Darwin in 2008 the Australian Coastal Society was formally constituted. Although it took four years, we can say it was worth the effort. Now 10 years on, ACS has become the “home” of C2C. I feel bold enough to say that given we no longer have Commonwealth funding, C2C would fall over without the underpinning interest and commitment from ACS.

Back to C2C 2018. I felt the key notes were of a very high standard. There were 6 presentations commencing with a brilliantly illustrated talk by Raewyn Peart of New Zealand on that country’s coastal management journey. From others we learnt about harmful algal blooms; capital investment in coastal adaptation (reminding me once again of the success of NCCARF in supporting research); problems facing our coast from the invasion of “our plastics”; the challenges of those managing the Derwent Estuary: and the documented climate-driven changes in marine systems. These talks were not just about problems and challenges, but also offered solutions for our nation to consider.

It was possible to easily move between concurrent sessions at Hotel Grand Chancellor. The sessions were arranged in themes such as climate adaptation, planning and policy, science and monitoring, estuaries and community science. There were also special sessions including workshops on the Monday, a special event arranged to explore the theme of women leadership in coastal management, a workshop to examine principles of the “Marine and Coastal Guarantee” which emerged at C2C 2014, a wonderful dinner, an evening visit to the magnificent MONA, and of course the field trips. I went on the planning trip and was delighted to see Ralphs Bay still in its near pristine condition untouched by a canal estate. A victory for common sense; congratulations to all in the community who were successful in their opposition to destruction of these sand flats so vital to our national and migratory bird life.

The Abstracts and Presentations from this C2C, and past C2C's where digital copies are available, are added to the Members area (requires login) of the ACS website. 

Now for C2C 2020 in Cairns.


Bruce Thom

Words by Prof Bruce Thom. Please respect the author’s thoughts and reference appropriately: (c) ACS, 2018, posted 29 April 2018, for correspondence about this blog post please email