Major study to improve protection of Byron Bay from erosion

Published on 06 September 2019

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The stretch of foreshore between Byron Bay’s Main Beach and the First Sun Caravan Park will come under the microscope in coming months as Council begins a major study of the rock walls, groynes and other protection works put in place to minimise coastal erosion and protect the town from coastal hazards such as wave overtopping and sea level rise.

Council recently appointed Bluecoast Consulting to conduct an extensive assessment of the Main Beach study area which will include design and modelling of concept options available to reduce erosion and provide better protection of Byron’s iconic Main Beach, and the town of Byron Bay for the longer term.

“A study of the area was completed in 2014, but Council is seeking to build on this earlier work to find the best possible solution to the modification of the coastal protection works at Main Beach,” Council’s Coastal and Biodiversity Coordinator, Chloe Dowsett, said.

“Put simply, this means we need to look closely at how the rock walls, groynes and other man-made protection works are holding up, how sand is moving around them, and the potential options to improve the protection works.

 “This major investigation is critical because it enables us to apply best practice scientific modelling and coastal information to inform our decisions and provide confidence to help us find the best solutions.

“We will also be working with the community and consulting widely as we know how important Main Beach is to a diverse range of people out there, from our ocean swimmers, surfers, the Surf Club, local businesses, tourists, tourism operators and others.

“We are all invested in protecting this stretch of beach and it’s an excellent opportunity to improve beach and surf amenity, public access and foreshore space, as well as public safety.  

“We have a strong direction on this from the community as a result of the Byron Bay Town Centre Master Planning which will benefit the design development and evaluation processes.

The study is being partly funded by a $150,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Office of Environment & Heritage (now the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment) with matching funds from Council.

For more information contact Council’s Coastal & Biodiversity Officer, Chloe Dowsett, on 6626 7128.