Working with nature to stabilise dune at New Brighton beach

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Byron Shire Council and the New Brighton Beach dune care group are working on a new project to stabilise a section of the sand dune at New Brighton beach.

Funding from the NSW Government’s Coastal and Estuary grants program and a contribution from Council will see revegetation and fencing work done on the section of the dune from The Strand main beach access south to the North Head Road carpark.

The project will involve fencing the area to stop people trampling on new plants and to give seedlings a chance to grow and get established.

This work will complement a successful dune revegetation project on the northern side of The Strand that was done as part of the beach scraping program in 2017/18.

Chloe Dowsett, Council’s Coast, Biodiversity and Sustainability Coordinator, said the project is a proactive approach to reducing the coastal hazard at New Brighton.

“This dune is nature’s seawall and by restoring it we are reducing the severity of erosion, as well as providing habitat for wildlife that live in this coastal ecosystem,” Ms Dowsett said.

“The difference between the dune area that has been fenced, compared to section of the beach that has not, is stark.

“Native vegetation is now growing, and the dune has increased in size providing an important buffer against wind, waves and high tides,” she said.

“New Brighton Beach is vulnerable to coastal erosion and anything we can do to encourage the stabilisation of the dune system and its growth, provides protection for the existing environment and ultimately people’s properties.

“As we have seen at Byron Bay in recent times the dunes play a vital role in being a buffer between the ocean and the land,” Ms Dowsett said.

The dune revegetation project will see the closure of an unformalised track that people are using to get to the beach.

“The reason we are closing this track is that it goes straight through the area that we will be working on and the area needs to be closed to allowed to the plants to establish,” Ms Dowsett said.

“The new fences will make it very clear to people where they can and can’t get onto the beach and we are hoping that people will support this important project by using the formal paths to the beach and staying away from the section of the dune that is being revegetated,” Ms Dowsett said.

The work will start on 25 October and take approximately three weeks to finish.

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