Coastal management prevents erosion damage

Published on 05 June 2019

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Old Bar Beach, looking north from the sand scraping trial site, after the storm of Tuesday 4 June 2019.

MidCoast Council says proactive management of Jimmys and Old Bar Beaches has prevented any loss of assets during yesterday's weather event, which caused minor erosion at both locations.

Severe weather events caused by east coast lows are common in winter months along the NSW coastline, frequently causing beach erosion at two of NSW's coastal erosion hotspots on the MidCoast - Jimmys Beach and Old Bar Beach.

On Tuesday 4 June, a storm event impacted both beaches, with Council evaluating the damage today.

"We're pleased that at both locations, our coastal management planning has prevented any loss of assets," said Council's Coastal Management Coordinator, Andrew Staniland.

At Jimmys Beach, work is underway on commissioning the new sand transfer system. The commissioning process involves checking and testing all aspects of the system, to expose any weaknesses and remedy them.

The sand transfer system was not operating at full capacity during commissioning, and a partial sand buffer had been established when yesterday's storm arrived.

The storm eroded a significant amount of sand from the Beach, exposing and displacing a small section of the sand transfer system pipe work between Guya and Kururma Streets.

"No pipework was damaged as a result of this exposure," said Mr Staniland. "Our contractors have temporarily moved 100 metres of displaced pipes from the site while seas are high. Once conditions improve the pipes will be re-laid, so we can continue with the commissioning of the system."

On Old Bar Beach, Council had just completed the second sand scraping trial last week, physically shifting sand from the intertidal zone (between high and low tide) and placing it against the upper beach area.  Sand scraping is an interim coastal management option that provides a sand buffer that is designed to be eroded naturally, protecting the coastline.

"After the storm, the scraped sand has largely remained intact and although the storm shifted significant amounts of sand from the Beach, the bulk of sand remains to buffer the Beach from another erosion event," said Mr Staniland.

"A sand buffer of approximately eight metres in width is remaining in place in front of the first dune, which is a positive early sign of the success of this trial."

Council will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the second trial on Old Bar Beach over the coming months.

More information about MidCoast Council’s coastal management program is available at www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/coastal.