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Work begins today to restore Semaphore South sand dunes

Work begins today to rebuild eroded sand dunes along Semaphore Beach and stabilise the area with vegetation.

Sand will be moved from Largs Bay to rebuild the sand dunes at Semaphore South.

Work begins today to rebuild eroded sand dunes along Semaphore South beach and stabilise the area with vegetation.

The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) has been working closely with the City of Port Adelaide Enfield and community representatives on how to best manage the area with a recent community survey indicating support for the project.

The area immediately north of the Semaphore South breakwater is prone to erosion. A severe storm in May 2016 caused widespread coastal erosion throughout South Australia. At Semaphore South, much of the dune and its vegetation was lost.

Sand will be moved from Largs Bay to rebuild the sand dunes at Semaphore South.

Recent testing has shown that sand north of the Largs Bay Jetty (to approximately Strathfield Terrace, Largs North) is suitable to restore the eroded dunes at Semaphore South. Drift net fencing and revegetation will then be used to help stabilise the dunes.

DEW’s Manager Coast and Marine, Dr Murray Townsend, said works are beginning in April 2020 ensuring a buffer is in place before winter when storms are more likely.

“It will take around three to four weeks to move the sand and the installation of drift net fencing and extensive revegetation will then follow at Semaphore South,” Dr Townsend said.

“The sand will be skimmed from the beach using a land plane attached to a tractor from between the high and low tide mark.

“No sand is collected from the dunes. It will be moved by trucks along the beach, in conjunction with a conveyor belt system to move the sand under the Semaphore jetty.”

The sand dunes restoration project comes after work undertaken during March and early April to move sand from areas of accumulation at Semaphore to replenish critically eroded areas at West Beach.

DEW engaged independent ecologists to undertake a vegetation survey in March 2020 to assess and map the flora communities along the five kilometre length of coast between Semaphore Surf Life Saving Club and Strathfield Terrace. This baseline information will inform species selection for the planting of the restored Semaphore South dunes, will enable any impacts of the trial to be monitored, and inform future works.

It’s part of the State Government’s ongoing replenishment program to provide beaches for coastal protection, recreational and environmental benefits. 

For more information visit the Department for Environment and Water coasts website.

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