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OEH Coastal Processes and Responses Node

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

 

There are three research Nodes within the Hub, and SIMS manages the Coastal Processes and Responses Node. The program is a partnership between SIMS, OEH and the Australian Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Settlements and Infrastructure (ACCARNSI) in collaboration with the UNSW Water Research Laboratory.

 

 

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.  For example the development of 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.

 

The Node strongly informs current reforms of coastal management through its input into the recent implementation of the NSW Coastal Management Act and the NSW Coastal Council.

Additionally the Node is contributing to education about climate change, sea level rise and coastal erosion through the recently published Coastal Management Guide, a teaching resource for high school teachers.

Current projects underway in the Node are:

  • Publically available datasets: online photogrammetry web portal
  • Estuarine risk assessment and strategic responses - NSW Estuaries
  • Visualisation of Coastal Risks
  • Coastal Erosion - a STEM education initiative to promote school and community engagement
  • Ecological impacts of adaptation protection options - beach nourishment and seawalls