Nourishment practices on Australian sandy beaches: a review

Belinda C. Cooke, Alan R. Jones, Ian D. Goodwin, Melanie J. Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

It is predicted that the coastal zone will be among the environments worst affected by projected climate change. Projected losses in beach area will negatively impact on coastal infrastructure and continued recreational use of beaches. Beach nourishment practices such as artificial nourishment, replenishment and scraping are increasingly used to combat beach erosion but the extent and scale of projects is poorly documented in large areas of the world. Through a survey of beach managers of Local Government Areas and a comprehensive search of peer reviewed and grey literature, we assessed the extent of nourishment practices in Australia. The study identified 130 beaches in Australia that were subject to nourishment practices between 2001 and 2011. Compared to projects elsewhere, most Australian projects were small in scale but frequent. Exceptions were nine bypass projects which utilised large volumes of sediment. Most artificial nourishment, replenishment and beach scraping occurred in highly urbanised areas and were most frequently initiated in spring during periods favourable to accretion and outside of the summer season of peak beach use. Projects were generally a response to extreme weather events, and utilised sand from the same coastal compartment as the site of erosion. Management was planned on a regional scale by Local Government Authorities, with little monitoring of efficacy or biological impact. As rising sea levels and growing coastal populations continue to put pressure on beaches a more integrated approach to management is required, that documents the extent of projects in a central repository, and mandates physical and biological monitoring to help ensure the engineering is sustainable and effective at meeting goals.

LanguageEnglish
Pages319-327
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume113
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2012

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Beaches
beach
local government
Erosion
beach erosion
beach nourishment
bypass
integrated approach
repository
Monitoring
coastal zone
project
Sea level
Climate change
accretion
infrastructure
Coastal zones
weather
erosion
engineering

Cite this

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Nourishment practices on Australian sandy beaches : a review. / Cooke, Belinda C.; Jones, Alan R.; Goodwin, Ian D.; Bishop, Melanie J.

In: Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 113, 30.12.2012, p. 319-327.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

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