Collaroy Beach a ‘hellish landscape’ as sand in front of sea wall washed away by coastal erosion: residents


But not everyone is happy with the project. Earlier this year, residents lined the beach in an attempt to encourage the council to invest in alternative measures to protect the beach, including a diet plan that would artificially replace sand. The local community group has been protesting a dike for almost 30 years.

University of NSW Water Research Lab senior lecturer Mitchell Harley said the annual high tides combined with ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth to create northeast waves that had resulted in coastal erosion along Collaroy and other beaches along the east coast.

“Collaroy normally receives waves from the south and has a large headland that protects the beach from waves, but the combination of high tides and unusually northeastern waves makes beaches that would normally be protected, exposed,” he said. declared.

He said more research would be needed to determine how well the seawall played in Tuesday’s erosion event, but the northeast waves were certainly a key factor in pulling sand from the beach.


University of Sydney coastal geomorphologist Professor Andrew Short said coastal erosion events are likely to become more frequent as climate change increases the likelihood of tropical cyclones and depressions on the east coast.

“They should be more likely and more intense. It’s a double whammy, ”he said.

“Most of the communities are built at the southern end of the beaches, but they will be more exposed to the impacts of erosion due to storms in the east. Governments and coastal managers need to be aware and plan for the changes to come. “

Surfrider Foundation’s northern beaches chair Brendan Donohue said Tuesday conditions had been unsafe for beachgoers, leaving Collaroy Beach a “hellish landscape.”

“It was a public beach, now it’s a public danger,” he said. “If we get another big swell in the next few weeks, unless the board mechanically moves sand, this beach will be impassable.”

He added that while conditions on Tuesday were moderate, there were real concerns about how the coastline would behave during larger erosion events.

The president of the northern beaches branch of the Surfrider Foundation, Brendan Donohue, noted the damage on Tuesday. Credit:Brook mitchell

Mr. Donohue and other concerned residents will attend a council development demand meeting opposing plans to build the next section of the seawall in the coming months.

A spokesperson for the Northern Beaches Council said recent weather conditions had caused minor erosion in Collaroy and Narrabeen, as well as other places in the region.

“This level of erosion is not uncommon during large swells and tides of this nature and is not a direct result of the sea wall being built. The beach will recover once conditions ease,” said the spokesperson.

“The rocks exposed to the recent high tides and strong swell form part of the temporary rock dike that protects the dike under construction during construction and which will ultimately be removed when construction is complete.

The post-storm scene damaged properties in Collaroy in 2016.

The post-storm scene damaged properties in Collaroy in 2016. Credit:Pierre Rae

“The dike stretches for about 10 meters towards the sea and has been inspected and is intact. No other construction material has been observed spilling into the sea. The area will continue to be monitored for safety and access.

The beach was closed on Wednesday due to strong surf conditions.

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