Shifting sands fenced in – Wollongong

Recent strong winds and large seas have resulted in significant sand movements across many of Wollongong’s beaches.

While many beaches have had substantial amounts of sand removed from their foreshore, the opposite has occurred in Port Kembla. The weather conditions over the past 12 to 18 months have seen more sand moved to the northern end of Port Kembla Beach, and the strong winds have blown this sand up onto the area around the beach shed, promenade and access road to Port Kembla Olympic Pool.

With adverse weather conditions predicted to continue in Wollongong over the weekend, we’re trialling the use of sediment fences around the dunes at Port Kembla Beach. In the past week we’ve installed sediment fencing, which we have used along other beaches to reduce sand movement.

Wollongong City Acting Lord Mayor Councillor Tania Brown said that the trial installation provided a way to explore tackling the ongoing challenge at Port Kembla Beach.

“Port Kembla Beach and the salt water Olympic Pool are some of Wollongong’s most loved seaside areas,” she said.

“The area faces challenges in relation to sand movement, and if we can stabilise the dunes in a controlled manner with all the necessary environmental controls, I think this would be a positive step.

“Our beaches and sand dunes are dynamic environments and weather conditions can have a very different effect, depending on the direction of the wind, and the size of the sea swells. Right now, we’ve got Port Kembla Beach seeing significant sand movement, and Thirroul Beach with major sand loss. It will be interesting to see the rests from this trial.

“In the meantime, I urge everyone to take care this weekend. The weather forecast for today and over the weekend is looking very wet and, while we should all be limiting our movements to minimise the risk of Coronavirus, if you do need to be out and about please do so safely.”

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