Coastal research

We conduct marine and coastal research and monitoring to better understand the underwater environment and support the sustainable management of our coastal and marine environments.

Bournda National Park The NSW marine estate extends from the coastal ocean and offshore islands to the landward limits of estuaries and coastal wetlands. This includes:

  • 755 beaches along 2,065 kilometres of ocean coastline
  • ~8,100 square kilometres of seafloor
  • 184 estuaries and coastal lakes with 6,500 kilometres of estuarine foreshores
  • ~75 islands and rocky islets.

Our research and monitoring across this marine estate is done in collaboration with NSW government agencies, including NSW Department of Regions (Primary Industries – Fisheries), Marine Estate Management Authority, Commonwealth agencies, private industry, our university partners, and the community.

Current research programs

Mapping and modelling

Our scientists are mapping the coastal seafloor and marine habitats. This data will increase our understanding of these little-known areas and help improve the management and protection of coastal and marine environments. Learn more about our offshore mapping research.

We also measure, model and predict offshore and nearshore ocean waves to help understand coastal dynamics, manage hazards and provide an early warning system for coastal users. Find out more about our ocean and coastal wave research.


Our marine and coastal monitoring research helps us better understand the underwater environment, and the impacts of land use in coastal catchments, estuaries and coastal lakes. For example, we monitor: