Pam Robinson, National Parks Association of NSW Illawarra Branch

Within a ten minute walk, I am at the edge of the continent surrounded by lots of public open space with mown grass.

I stand on the Towradgi Creek bridge, my eyes straining to see some life. No ducks even, no fingerlings.

I shed my shoes and feel the cool, soft, loose sand under my feet. There is only the ever changing sky, the ocean, the rocks, the bush dunes, the escarpment, the wind around.

Sometimes a tern or two is standing on the edge of a resting flock of seagulls, all contemplating their spiritual life. Much rarer, a kelp gull.

Once in the rock pools at low tide we could find sea anemones and seastars. Now a few periwinkles, an occasional mulberry shell, worm shells, barnacles, limpets.

In recent years, black soft-bodied shell-less creatures have inhabited the ocean pools that Wollongong is blessed with. They gradually cover the sides of the shallow pool and graze on the green moss. They even spread onto the base where they can be observed in more detail, feelers waving.

I watch in wonder.

Recently on my later afternoon walks, the pool is empty. A man is calmly waterblasting, to make it clean and ready for humans again.

I cry.