I recently attended the 18th Biennial Australian New Zealand Geomorphology Group conference in delightful Inverloch in the south Gippsland region of Victoria. This conference is held at a place in either Australia or New Zealand where there are exciting geomorphic features. Inverloch was no exception. It was a privilege to be invited this time to give the key note on “Public Policy and the Law: the influence of geomorphology”. I dedicated this talk to the late John Chappell. His wife, Helen, was at the conference dinner and spoke about John with great feeling; I was asked to give the response on behalf of the Group, another tremendous privilege to honour this great man. Read More

Coastal science and the Murray River mouth

Two important documents about the River Murray were released last week (23 Jan and 2 Feb.). First, the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission completed its report investigating the operations and effectiveness of the Murray-Darling Basin system. Second, on World Wetlands Day a new book about the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth was launched. These are both significant as the coastal area around the Murray Mouth is at the ‘end of the drain’ for Australia’s largest river catchment. The Royal Commission notes, “It is now more likely that warnings are sounded, and heeded, that ‘rivers die from their mouths’ ”. Read More


It is very interesting to follow Coastal Zone Management initiatives in other countries. I have been following developments in India during 2018 and in late December their federal government introduced a national regulation which deserves our further attention. It appears possible in India for the federal government to provide direction to all state governments and agencies. At this stage I am not clear as to how effective will be the implementation of this new regulation. If the Indian government is allowing the increased development of coastal areas of high populations density to encourage economic development, then many Indians may well have a front row seat to experience "enjoying the beauty of the mighty seas " when it is brought to their door by sea level rise. Read More

Sydney Harbour Sea Fog - Summer of 2018/2019

Sea fog has been a regular occurrence this summer in Sydney Harbour. To hear fog horns sounding in the middle of the day is a rare experience. From our verandah we can see the fog as it rolls through the Heads into Middle Harbour. It seems to stall and bulge up as a mound still attached to the sea surface. We saw this on 17 December and again last Friday. The fog then expands down the Harbour and over the cliffs into Vaucluse along the lines of our local valley and streets. Later in the afternoon it dissipates. Read More


During this past year, I have had the opportunity of working once again with Don Wright, formerly a colleague at Sydney University now based in Florida. Don and colleagues have been involved in producing collaborative reports in the USA through the Coastal Environmental Research Committee of the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA). Read More


Ever since my undergraduate days, I have been fascinated by pits in sand deposits around the eastern suburbs of Sydney. I grew up in Rose Bay. Trevor Langford-Smith had me digging a pit in the backyard of our home in Roberts Street. Read More

Observations from a long time marine debris collector.

As with most other Australian Coastal Society members, I have been a salt water person for as long as I can remember, back to being taken to South Cronulla Beach as a two or three year old. While not academic or professional, I did pass Coastal Geomorphology at UNSW which I thoroughly enjoyed way back in the early 1970's. Since then, I have been an active volunteer in coast and wetland management, and whether walking, surfing or swimming, I have collected marine debris. Read More


The 27th NSW Coastal Conference was held last week at Merimbula on the NSW far south coast. What a wonderful location enjoyed by 250 delegates. This is the first time the conference had been held in Bega Valley Shire, a tribute to the hard work and persistent endeavours of Derek van Bracht. Read More