OEH Coastal Processes and Responses Node

The NSW Office Of Environment and Heritage (OEH) has established the NSW Adaptation Hub to generate the key information necessary to manage the consequences of environmental change in NSW. 

There are three research Nodes within the Hub, and SIMS manages the Coastal Processes and Responses Node. 

The initial program is for 3 years, with an initial award of approximately $1 M over the three years. The program is a partnership between SIMS, OEH and the Australian Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Settlements and Infrastructure (ACCARNSI)

The focus of the program is on the interaction between climate driven changes in sea level, storms, waves and flooding, and the coastal and estuarine environment.  Thus for example we will develop a NSW-wide coastal hazard assessment methodology to identify and assess the impacts of sea level rise, storm surges and coastal erosion. The research will increase our understanding of the influence of current climate variability on coastal processes and how this will change with projected climate change scenarios.  We will identify the extent of threats posed by coastal erosion events, shoreline recession and coastal flooding, especially under climate change and sea level rise scenarios.  This will be done for both natural and artificial shorelines.  Within estuaries, we will develop an increased understanding of the potential impacts of extreme events (e.g. floods, droughts, heat waves, storms) on estuarine habitats and develop climate change ecological risk profiles for a range of estuary types along the NSW coast.

As well as providing key information and predictions on the fate of our coasts under climate change, the Node also strongly integrates our science into coastal planning and development policy within the NSW State Government, and brings engineers and geomorphologists more strongly into the SIMS scientific group.

Currently four projects are underway in the Node:

  • Open coasts: beach erosion & sediment exchanges
  • Open coast adaptation responses:sand nourishment & seawalls
  • NSW estuaries adaptation responses
  • Risk, uncertainty and visualisation of coastal risk
IMG_7627-Photo-credit-Larry-Paice IMG_0848 photo credit Ian Turner