Project planned to protect foreshore from erosion

New groynes and a rock seawall will be built along the foreshore between Rose Avenue and Coghlan Road in Cowes, to help protect the area from ongoing erosion.

The Bass Coast Shire Council project will include the construction of eight new timber groynes, to replace the existing groynes, sand renourishment and the construction of a new 300-metre-long rock seawall to replace the existing seawall.

Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari said erosion is an issue across Bass Coast, that has increased significantly over the past 10 years.

“The existing structures that were built at Cowes East to minimise erosion are now degraded and are no longer working effectively,” Cr Tessari said.

“The new groynes and seawall will offer a long-term solution to help protect the beach and public assets from further damage,” Cr Tessari concluded.

This $2.58 million project received grant funding of $1.05 million from the Australian Government’s Environment Restoration Fund, with the remaining $1.53 million coming from Council.

Works to construct the timber groynes is expected to begin in late August and be completed by early December. Sand renourishment to fill the new groyne fields will be conducted between December 2021 and April 2022, when conditions are best suited.

Construction of the rock seawall is planned to start in February 2022 and be completed by early December. All works will be staged to minimise disruption over the summer holiday season and other peak times.

Due to the loss of function of the existing structures, in recent years, Council has protected vulnerable assets from erosion by using a technique called beach scraping. This technique involves using machinery to move sand from the nearby beaches and intertidal areas and placing it in front of the vulnerable assets. This is considered “sacrificial sand” as it is likely to be taken away during future erosion events. However, it temporarily provides a role in protection against further erosion, until the new coastal protection structures are built.

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