Under natural conditions, beaches are constantly changing. Beach replenishment takes sand from beaches that are building up and places it at beaches that would otherwise erode. In some instances, if management action isn’t taken ongoing erosion could result in extensive damage to reserves, roads and buildings built on the foreshore.
The sand put on a beach during replenishment is 'sacrificial'. It is intended that some of it be washed away during the next storm. If this replenishment sand weren't available to be eroded away, then beaches, dunes and foreshore reserves behind where it is placed would be eroded instead. Much of the sand that is washed offshore during storms is washed back onshore during calmer periods so it is not wasted.
Beach replenishment is a technique currently used by many coastal councils in South Australia, using various methods such as sand carting or pumping using specialised infrastructure.
Find out more about how we are replenishing Adelaide’s metropolitan beaches.