Eye on beach erosion

City of Rockingham coastal engineering officer Mark Donaldson, director of engineering park services Chris Thompson and Mayor Barry Sammels at Waikiki Beach. |Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d423108
City of Rockingham coastal engineering officer Mark Donaldson, director of engineering park services Chris Thompson and Mayor Barry Sammels at Waikiki Beach. |Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d423108

The City will monitor a 130-metre stretch of Waikiki Beach. City coastal engineering officer Mark Donaldson said the City had monitored Waikiki Beach for eight years and its findings influenced its actions to prevent erosion.

‘This grant is for us to get a better understanding of the present processes such as offshore wave monitoring, monitoring the seabed, sediment transport and seeing what the sand does during storms and summer, if the sand is coming back onto the beach, and wind monitoring,’ he said.

This will also show what potential threats there could be to infrastructure and help the City’s planning.

‘Because we actively monitor the site now we know that it’s eroding,’ Mr Donaldson said.

‘We have beach profile surveys every four to six months, pre and post-winter and summer, just to see if the sand (that erodes) is brought back and then we can put those surveys over each other to measure how much of the beach profile lifts.’

Waikiki Beach is just one of a number of hotspots facing the threat of dune erosion, with Warnbro Beach Road and Michael Road car park access points also under threat in Warnbro Sound.

Closer to Rockingham, dunes at the corner of Hymus Street and Esplanade are under threat, while dunes between Flinders Lane and Wanliss Street suffer erosion, particularly during winter.

‘We monitor those areas and may seek further funding to do studies and beyond that build infrastructure to prevent more erosion,’ Mr Donaldson said.