NSW Minister for the Environment, Gabrielle Upton, met with the Old Bar community and representatives from MidCoast Council last month, announcing funding to assist with the interim management of the Old Bar beach coastline.
It’s good news for the erosion hotspot of Old Bar, with $45,000 provided by the NSW Government to undertake a sand scraping trial on the main part of the beach in front of the surf club. Funding will be matched by MidCoast Council.
Sand scraping is an interim measure to assist in creating a buffer against coastal processes that continue to erode the Old Bar/Manning Point area.
The technique mimics natural beach recovery processes, but increases the recovery rate compared with natural processes.
In combination with revegetation schemes, sand scraping has successfully been used for dune building in other locations along the NSW coast.
The funding will facilitate a one-off trial campaign which will be timed to provide greatest efficiency. This means that while the funding is available immediately the work will be undertaken in late spring/early summer when beach conditions are more stable and will give the best opportunity to trial sand scraping.
“Winter is traditionally storm season in our local area, bringing east coast lows and a changing coastline. It’s important we use the funding for this single round of sand scraping wisely, meaning we’ll hold off for more stable conditions,”Andrew Staniland, MidCoast Council’s project manager planning and natural systems said.
While interim activities, like sand scraping, will be undertaken as opportunities arise, MidCoast Council’s longer term objective is the development of a Coastal Management Plan for the Old Bar/Manning Point area.
Working collaboratively a multi-discipline working group has been established which comprises staff from various departments within council, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Industry (Lands), independent coastal scientists and key local stakeholders.
An application for funding the development of the Coastal Management Plan has been made, and it is anticipated work will commence – including community consultation – in coming months.
The upcoming sand scraping project on Old Bar Beach has been jointly funded by the NSW Government and MidCoast Council.