Provide Your Thoughts – Protecting Shoalhaven Heads Against Erosion

Recent hazardous ocean conditions have led to significant erosion at Shoalhaven Heads. Shoalhaven City Council is preparing Coastal Management Programs (CMPs) for the region to identify and protect Shoalhaven’s vulnerable beaches, headlands and shorelines.

As part of the review, Council is inviting the community to have their say on strategies to help prepare the Shoalhaven for future coastal hazards – erosion, inundation, and water quality.

A Coastal Management Program is a long-term strategy for managing the coastal regions in the face of future climate risks. The Program will provide the framework and strategy that will be used to manage our coastlines and estuaries.

Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Amanda Findley, noted there were consistent community concerns centered around beach access, the health of coastal waterways, and protecting property and infrastructure from coastal hazards.

“The coastal landscape of Shoalhaven is a treasured natural, social, and economic asset for the community and visitors alike. We are calling on the community to have their say and help us plan how we manage these precious coastal areas for future generations”, Clr Findley stated.

“Council manages 40 of the 109 beaches and 11 of the 15 lakes and estuaries across the Shoalhaven”, Clr Findley said.

Over the next five years Council will develop CMPs for specific sites to address unique management actions and priorities in each unique area.

CMPs are developed in accordance with the Coastal Management Program Legislation and guided by the NSW State Government’s Coastal Management Manual.

In August 2021, Council placed temporary safety fencing and associated warning signage at Shoalhaven Heads.

Further risk mitigation measures implemented by Council include regrading the steep dune escarpment at the access track south of the surf club to make it safe, and the temporary closure of the northern and central access tracks with semi-permanent barricading. Council is continuing to monitor the area in the short term.

Council will be engaging a contractor to undertake medium term erosion mitigation measures including dune reshaping and rehabilitation works in the coming months.

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