Lessons to be learnt from beach erosion

THE erosion of Quinns Beach has been an ongoing problem; the recent loss of 10-12m of dune highlights the need for action.

Long-term residents would remember there were shacks west of Ocean Drive.

I recall the beachside park lined with sheoaks that washed away years ago, as was the boat ramp.

Now the playground is gone.

Thankfully, the surf club was not built at the end of the car park as proposed c.1984 or it would be at risk.

What is driving the loss of Quinns Beach?

Are coastal structures affecting the cycle of sand erosion and accretion?

Is sea level rise increasing storm surges or reducing the protective effect of offshore reefs?

Adequate buffers between the beach and houses and infrastructure are essential, but for older settlements built close to the beach, we face difficult choices.

The erosion problem shows the need to consider biophysical factors, including climate change, when planning coastal facilities and beachside developments.

Ongoing monitoring and improving our understanding of coastal processes in the area is important too.

Perhaps the lesson is to give nature space.

David Wake,

Quinns Rocks Environmental Group