A healthy build-up of sand and a co-operative partnership between the NSW Government, local council and community has allowed work to start on a project to improve the resilience of the Wooli Beach dunes.
Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis and Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons met onsite last week with Bruce Bird, president of the Wooli community group CCPA, to observe works currently underway to help address coastal erosion to the village.
Mr Gulaptis said earthmoving equipment moved onto the beach and started shifting sand from the intertidal zone to an area in front of the dunes in a process known as ‘nature assisted beach enhancement’.
“This is simply a process of moving sand locally from the intertidal zone to the nearby dune using machinery such as excavators and bulldozers.
“The aim is to provide additional protection to the dunes and homes along the Wooli peninsula.”
Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons said that in favourable conditions sand deposited in the intertidal zone and onshore winds shifted a portion to the dune area, providing protection to the environment and any facilities on or behind the dune.
“What we are doing now is accelerating what the wind would normally do,” he said.
“Work has been delayed a few times until there was sufficient sand in the intertidal zone, but has now started on the most exposed area, which is at the southern 800 metres of Wooli village.”
Mr Gulaptis congratulated the community of Wooli and Clarence Valley Council for their commitment to the project and for the sensitive approach adopted in solving a complex matter.
“Wooli is a piece of paradise and the collaborative approach taken to protecting the beach is a great outcome for the residents and tourists who visit the village,” he said.
“I’m thrilled the NSW Government has recognised the importance of protecting the beach at Wooli and made a 50% contribution towards this improvement.”
CCPA president Bruce Bird said the strengthened dunes will now be able to protect Wooli from a 1-in-20-years storm.
“We agree that a major contributor to the successful completion of this project has been the very constructive way that the community, council and state government have worked together on it,” he said.
“Once the heavy machinery has finished its work, the community and council will be straight into the equally important step of consolidating the new dune installing about 50 new sand-traps and hundreds of new plants.”
The NSW Government contributed $50,000 towards the project with Clarence Valley Council and the Wooli Coastal Communities Protection Alliance Inc contributing $25,000 each. These works are part of an approved coastal zone management plan.
Representatives of the Office of Environment and Heritage and Yaegl Aboriginal sites officers have been on site supervising the work.