Shallow water acoustics is one of the most challenging branches of acoustics. A review of the recent progress on shallow water acoustics in the State Key Laboratory of Acoustics (SKLA), Institute of Acoustics is presented. The progress of shallow water acoustics in China before 1997 has been well reviewed [D. Guan, in Shallow-Water Acoustics, edited by R. Zhang and J.X. Zhou, China Ocean Press, Beijing, 1997, 23-28]. The progress of both forward models and inverse problems on several important topics since 1997 are discussed. The forward models, including sound propagation, reverberation and ambient noise, are introduced firstly. The spatial and temporal correlations of sound field and their applications are also presented. The progress of the inverse problems such as acoustic tomography, geoacoustic inversion, and source localization are discussed in the end.