Annual program gets underway


NECESSARY WORK: Heavy machinery at the foreshore during sand replenishment.

Monday, February 10, 2020

The City of Whyalla will begin its annual foreshore sand replenishment project today.

Earthmoving contractors and their associated machinery (dump trucks and excavators) will be operating along the Whyalla Foreshore in the week beginning Monday the 10th of February 2020, concluding Friday the 14th of February 2020.

Council’s Project Manager Landscape, Sam Bourne said the work was done now to dodge the school holidays and make the most of the seagrass (beach wrack) that is prevalent at this time of the year.

Council works closely with the Department of Environment and Water (DEW) in regards to the foreshore and environmental issues such as beach wrack. It is generally preferred that beach wrack is left in place in the coastal environment.

“It wouldn’t be environmentally sound to remove the wrack regularly and it is eventually taken back out to sea through natural processes anyway," Sam said.

Beach wrack is considered an essential component of the coastal ecosystem and provides many ecosystem services. The presence of beach wrack also contributes to the protection and stabilisation of the shoreline and coastal dunes by serving as a physical barrier between the sea and the dune system.

However, it is acknowledged that sometimes the presence of large amounts of wrack may create a hazard or negatively affect the amenity of an area so approved actions such Whyalla’s sand replenishment program can be put in place to utilise the wrack in a sustainable and useful manner.


HEAVY WORK: The public is asked to careful while sand replenishment work is being carried out.

Since 2013 Whyalla City Council has done an annual sand replenishment project in conjunction with DEW’s Coast Protection Branch.

Sand replenishment is recognised as world’s best practice as a way of improving the quality of the beach and protecting beach side assets. It is done all over the world, including South Australia, with most Adelaide metropolitan beaches doing something similar.

"This year’s project involves the harvesting and placement of 3000m3 of sand and seaweed blend, to be placed along the section of seawall stretching from Roberts Terrace to the western carpark roundabout, covering the majority of the exposed sandbags," Sam said.

"The harvested sand and seaweed is to be deposited up to 400mm to 500mm below the top of the seawall, with the sand blend to be shaped so as to gently slope down towards the sea, up to a distance of approximately 10m from the seawall."

Council has recently engaged the services of a (Marine Sedimentology) Coastal & Environmental geologist to help determine what the current coastal processes are at the Whyalla Foreshore, and how best to return this particular section of beach back into a self-sustaining beach berm. If the public is interested in what this might look like, there is a great example of this down near to the mangroves, beyond Dunstone Street.

Further to this project, Council has engaged contractors to install tube stock of coastal plants along this (sand replenishment project area) section of beach in April, as well as for other contractors to come through in early May, to sow endemic coastal native seed, from the marina breakwater to the caravan park, to help establish a healthy, species diverse band of coastal vegetation along the entire length of the Whyalla Foreshore.

“It wouldn’t be environmentally sound to remove the wrack regularly and it is eventually taken back out to sea through natural processes anyway."

Access to the beach is still available but Council asks those going to the foreshore to be mindful of the works and take note of all signage and directions given by the contractors. Certain sections of the beach will be unavailable at various times.

"We request that the beach going public remains vigilant and respectful of the works being carried out at the site (obeying all signage and requests of the contractors) and keep an eye on their children and dogs in particular, to ensure safe public utilization of the beach, while the contractors can safely go about their business," Sam said.

Any questions regarding these works can be directed to Sam Bourne at Council on 8640 3444.



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