Erosion at Clarkes Beach – stay away from dunes

Beach access paths at Clarkes Beach at Byron Bay are closed with the recent southerly swell causing more erosion on the beach which is already severely depleted of sand.

Council staff have cleaned up some debris on the beach, including trees and branches, and closed off beach access paths.

People are asked to stay well clear of the eroded and unstable sand dunes, and to only use access paths that are open to get onto the beach.

“There is a very steep drop from the top of the dunes to the beach and we have repaired or closed some access paths to make sure that no one gets hurt,” Chloe Dowsett, Coastal and Biodiversity Coordinator, said.

“We have also lost more of our concrete access path that was installed for people with mobility devices like wheelchairs.

“Mature trees and other coastal vegetation have fallen into the ocean and stormwater pipes are exposed,” Ms Dowsett said.

“Reflections is also working on the area of Clarkes Beach near the holiday park, to ensure access paths that are not safe are closed, as well as removing rubbish and debris.

“The sand will come back with aerial shots showing a slug of sand coming around Wategos and the Pass and this will eventually replenish Clarkes Beach.

“The southerly swell transport system has finally fired up after a few years of negligible south swell and hopefully if this continues sand will continue to build up.

“However it will not rebuild the steep dune escarpment and this will need to be addressed by other coastal management strategies in consultation with NSW Government agencies and other stakeholders,” she said.

In the meantime there is a lot of exposed rock and pebbles on Clarkes Beach which is difficult for people to negotiate on the high tide.

The high tides are presently coming to the bottom of the dunes and they are still very vulnerable to erosion.

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