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Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Dune Enhancement Project

Project Summary/background

Bega Valley Shire contains one eighth of the state’s coastline and encompasses extensive and diverse beach and dune environments.  Our coastline is renowned for having some of the most natural and intact coastal ecosystems in NSW and Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) has a critical role to play in maintaining these natural values, while also providing appropriate access and recreational opportunities to the community.

Healthy dune communities are essential for coastline protection and play an important role in beach resilience. The effective management of our dune systems will be vital to ongoing adaptation to changing sea levels, more intense storm events and changes in wave climates.

The beaches covered in this project are:

Camel Rock • Haywards Beach • Moorhead Beach • Horseshoe Bay • Beares Beach • Barragoot Beach • Cuttagee Beach • Barragga Bay • Armands Bay • Tathra Beach • Dolphin Cove • Tura Beach • Short Point Beach • Merimbula Main Beach • Pambula Beach • Jiguma Beach • Aslings Beach • Cocora Beach • Bungo Beach • Legges Beach • Boydtown Beach

Purpose

This project aims to stabilise and protect dune systems to reduce current risks to natural and built assets as well as increase resilience to future threats from climate change driven sea level rise.

During the east coast low storm event in 2016, many beaches within the Shire suffered considerable erosion. As a result, many dune areas are experiencing varying levels of degradation, reducing storm buffering potential and increasing the risk of damage to public assets. Dune system stabilisation and protection, that uses natural dune stabilisation techniques to develop healthy dune environments is the preferred coastline protection method across the Shire, in contrast to hard engineering solutions such as rock walls or concrete revetment structures.

Through assessment of high priority beaches within the Bega Valley Shire, council have developed a series of management actions to be completed over the next two years. Works include:

  • Rationalisation of beach access tracks
  • Regeneration of dune vegetation
  • Removal of environmental weeds
  • Community engagement
  • Ongoing maintenance

Connection to Council's Community Strategic Plan

This project is connect to Council's Community Strategic Plan through Outcome 3 – Sustainable Living, Goal 5: Our air and water is pristine and our natural environment and rural landscapes are protected.

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Funding

The project is being jointly funded to a total cost of $80,000.

Contributions are:

  • Council= $40,000
  • Office of Environment and Heritage Grant = $40,000

Timeline of works

 

Progress

Seed Collection

Seed collection was completed along the Bega Valley coastline to ensure local provenance and grown up locally.

Stage 1 works

We have completed stage 1 works of our dune enhancement project with works at 5 high priority sites.

Sites and associated works included:

  • Pambula Beach – installation of fencing
  • Tathra Beach (south end) – installation of fencing & revegetation
  • Beares Beach, Camel Rock Beach, Cuttagee Beach – weed control and revegetation

Approximately 1000 plants were planted across the above sites. This work will help to re-establish dunes which were impacted by the 2016 east coast low storm and minimise weed intrusion and reduce informal access tracks to help strengthen the dune. The dune systems are essential for coastline protection and play an important role in beach resilience to the impacts of storm surges and sea level rise as well as providing habitat for a range of fauna.

Stage 2 works

The second stage of works will be carried out at Aslings Beach, Horseshoe Bay, Jiguma Beach and Merimbula Main Beach with follow up works planned for Pambula Beach, Beares Beach, Camel Rock and Cuttagee.  These works will also involve weed control and revegetation.

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