Environment SA News

New ways to address erosion at West Beach

Funding has been committed to rescue the state’s most struggling metropolitan beach.

New ways to address erosion at West Beach
West Beach, South Australia’s most struggling metropolitan beach

Department for Environment and Water Coastal Manager Dr Murray Townsend said the loss of sand at West Beach is significant compared to other metropolitan beaches, and new research has shown that it is greater than previously estimated.

“New approaches to address the issue in the long term have been outlined in a report recently completed by environmental consultants Danish Hydraulics Institute (DHI),” Dr Townsend said.

“The report sets out new long term options for managing erosion at West Beach and these will be considered over the coming months.

“The report makes it clear that even if current management activities are maintained, dune erosion will continue around West Beach and Henley Beach South, and progressively move north.”

To begin to address the report’s findings and help West Beach, the immediate priority is to cart sand to replenish the eroding West Beach.

An additional $1 million will be invested by the SA Government over two years to replenish the West Beach dunes, with around 40,000 to 50,000 cubic metres of sand to be carted from the Semaphore South breakwater each year.

The sand carting works will start on Monday, 15 October 2018.

“For the long term, we will be looking at the best way to get sand to West Beach from areas where sand is accumulating, and also from external sources,” Dr Townsend said.

“The approach that is adopted will need to best meet the community’s needs and balance environmental, recreational, practical and financial considerations.”

The SA Government has also allocated $1 million into research and development to find the best ways to manage beach replenishment in the future and tackle other issues such as the impact that damaging sediment and pollutants from stormwater runoff have on our oceans and marine life.

These initiatives are being delivered as part of the SA Government’s $5.2 million New Life for OurCoastal Environment commitment.

For a copy of the West Beach report visit www.environment.sa.gov.au/coasts.