Holding Back The Tide – Sydney’s Battle Against Climate Change And Coastal Surges

Source: The Guardian/Wendy Harmer

Photo:  Dan Freeman/Unsplash

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For the past 25 years I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a spectacular view of Collaroy-Narrabeen beach from my old wooden house tucked into the northern slopes of Mt Ramsay.

I survey a gorgeous, curved slice of coast where swell dispatched from the far reaches of the Southern and Pacific oceans reaches a final, spectacular resignation.

Collaroy-Narrabeen on Sydney’s northern beaches is arguably as well known for its peerless status in Australian surfing culture as it is the pinup for rising sea levels due to climate change.

There cannot be a beach in Australia that has been more studied by experts and fought over by homeowners, beach users and grandstanding politicians than Collaroy-Narrabeen.

At 2.6km it’s Sydney’s second-longest stretch of golden sand and pounding surf (Cronulla, at 4.8km is the longest). It’s also classified as the most at-risk beach from erosion in New South Wales and the third most at-risk in the nation.

Collaroy takes its name from an 1881 shipwreck. The paddle steamer Collaroy, that plied its trade between Newcastle and Sydney as a passenger vessel, grounded at the end of my street, according records in the State Library of NSW.

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Photo:  Dan Freeman/Unsplash

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