It has been 50 years since the First Australian Conference on Coastal Engineering in 1973, which was held in Manly, Sydney, Australia. The theme of that conference was “Engineering Dynamics of the Coastal Zone”. Since that conference, the Coasts and Ports conference series has explored many different themes that have focused on fundamental scientific and engineering questions, the role of coastal, ocean and port engineers, the challenges that face communities in the coastal zone, and our most recent theme in New Zealand Adapt and Thrive.
In 2023 we will reflect on 50 years of coastal, ocean and port engineering in Australasia, but also look forward to the next 50 years. A period that is anticipated to be characterised by great change. In Australasia as well as around the world, the increasing impacts of climate change are going to be realised while at the same time much of the existing infrastructure will approach or surpass its design life. This allows us, perhaps even requires us, to explore new ways for communities to interface with the marine environment. Over recent years we have quantified this challenge and sought to determine what it means for our coasts, ports, and coastal communities. As we now start to develop strategies to adapt, we must also look forward to how we will embed adaptation ideas and principles in everything we do, so that we can implement these adaptation strategies at scale. To achieve this, working together will be critical: working together with the ocean, with nature, with communities as well as with other professions. 50 years from now we want to be able to look back and say that we took what we knew, implemented big ideas and adapted to the challenges.
Welcome to the Australasian Coasts and Ports Conference 2023.