Coastal management

Our beaches, dunes, headlands, littoral rainforests, coastal wetlands, creeks and estuaries are essential to the character of the MidCoast Region. Our coastal environment affords our community an enviable lifestyle and draw tourists and visitors to our Region who help drive local economies. These environments support important biodiversity and house many plant and animal species that are endangered and vulnerable.

We are committed to manage these environments to preserve their quality and appeal, to continue to improve public access and enjoyment and to ensure that protected areas are managed to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem function.

The coast is a particularly dynamic environment. It is continually shaped by coastal processes and is susceptible to acute events like storms. In some locations, coastal processes are conflicting with urban areas and other assets. As the influence of climate change and sea level rise continue to shape coastlines across the world, this conflict and the risks will become more widespread.

NSW Councils are required to prepare coastal management programs (CMP) for their coastal areas to set the long-term strategy for the coordinated management of the coast.

Coastal hotspots

The NSW Government has identified 15 coastal 'hotspots' along NSW coastline where the impact of coastal hazards and the risk to assets is particularly high. Two of those hotspots are located within the MidCoast - at Jimmys Beach near Hawks Nest and at Old Bar / Manning Point.

Old Bar / Manning Point

Council is preparing a coastal management program (CMP) for the Old Bar Manning Point (OBMP) coastline ahead of the broader Open Coast Coastal Management Program. Council committed to advance the Old Bar Manning Point CMP ahead of the broader project because of concerns about rapid coastal erosion and shoreline recession in this area and the need to provide the community with a clear direction about how this area is to be managed in the future.

The plan extends from Wallabi Point to Crowdy Head and extends 2km inland. It will consider management issues along the entire coastline including coastal erosion and shoreline recession at Old Bar and Manning Point.

Click here to read more about the Old Bar Manning Point Coastal Management Program.

Jimmys Beach

In conjunction with a major dredging operation currently underway in the Eastern Channel of the Lower Myall River, to remove 120,000 cubic metres of sand, we are in the process of placing 20,000 cubic metres onto Jimmys Beach to renourish and provide a buffer for upcoming storm events. June and July's storms and large swells eroded the previous buffer that had been in place since August 2019. As part of the dredging project, 20,000 cubic metres will go to Jimmy's Beach now with the remaining 100,000 cubic metres being placed on the stockpile at Winda Woppa for future renourishment of the beach when needed. 

We are currently trialling an innovative project which is expected to deliver significant improvements to the ecology of the Lower Myall River, via Eastern Channel dredging, ecological restoration of the Ramsar-listed Corrie Island, and a long term, gradual supply of sand to replenish Jimmys Beach.  The project is funded by $4.1 million in Australian and NSW Government funding matched with Council contributions.  

A sand transfer system involving a hopper, pumping system and pipeline has been built to transfer sand from Winda Woppa stockpile to replenish Jimmys Beach.

This option will provide a long term and more gradual supply of sand to Jimmys Beach, reducing the need to rely on trucking in sand in response to emergency storm events. Rock walls, groynes and other structures have all been examined, but establishing an ongoing sand nourishment program is the most financially sustainable option for maintaining Jimmys Beach and to provide a buffer to protect The Boulevarde behind it. Once operational, it's expected to reduce the total cost of protecting and maintaining the Beach from the current $600,000 per year to $200,000.

This is the first time such a scheme will be utilised for managing an erosion hotspot in NSW.


More information

Coastal Zone Management Plans

Under the formers Coastal Protection Act 11979, Councils were required to prepare coastal zone management plans (CZMPs) for their coastal areas. These are gradually being replaced by Coastal Management Programs under the Coastal Management Act 2016.

The following CZMPs are still currently for the MidCoast Council Area:

Manning Valley CZMP covers the area between Black Head in the south and Crowdy Bay / Diamond Head in the north). This plan excludes the beaches of Old Bar and Manning Point, which will have a dedicated CMP as they are identified as a NSW Coastal hotspot. 

Great Lakes CZMP(PDF, 9MB) covers the open coastline from Nine Mile Beach (Black Head) to Yacaaba Head at the southern end of Bennetts Beach. The developed beaches have been given particular focus, including Tuncurry (Nine Mile Beach), Forster Main, One Mile, Seven Mile, Elizabeth, Boomerang, Blueys, Sandbar Beach, Seal Rocks Number One, Seal Rocks Boat and Bennetts beaches.

Jimmy's Beach CZMP(PDF, 8MB) was created, as it is identified as a NSW Coastal erosion hotspot.


Supporting information: 

Historical Coastal Management Plans and study documents

The following list of studies and reports support the former and existing coastal zone management plans.

Great Lakes

Further investigations on Boomerang Beach and Blueys Beach using ground penetrating radar to clarify subsurface conditions: