Beaches will wash away by Ben Cubby, Environment Reporter
October 29, 2008
It's a cruel dilemma: Sydney will get hotter but you can't escape to the beach. Bondi, Manly and Coogee, which are backed by heavy duty sea walls, are expected to escape the worst of rising sea levels but only for a while. By 2050, most of Sydney's 150-odd major beaches will need thousands of tonnes of extra sand delivered by truck to survive in anything like their current condition, experts believe.
The projected sea level rise of up to 40 centimetres in the next four decades, revealed yesterday by the NSW Government, will change the city's coastline. Even the runways of Sydney Airport may need to be reinforced, according to Professor Andy Short from the University of Sydney's coastal studies unit.
Relatively narrow beaches such as Manly and Cronulla have little room to retreat and governments should consider funding beach-widening programs now, Professor Short said. A coalition of local councils along the NSW coast is awaiting more detailed projections from the State Government so they can issue advice to coastal land owners and perhaps modify planning approval laws to take climate change into account.
Blogger Note: Beach nourishment ( including replenishment and restoration) is a very expensive and in many cases the only feasible proposition, which many of the small islands will not be able to afford. Many small islands depend upon tourism, in particular beach tourism, as a central economic pillar. Therefore direct impacts on beaches will directly hurt island economies and impair their ability to respond and adapt to such changes. The Sea Level Rise Foundation aims to create a network and promote the exchange of techniques and approaches to beach restoration, and thus avoid the costly mistakes associated with such exercises. Whilst beach nourishment may appear straight forward and many will be tempted to get heavy earth moving machines moving sand around at enormous cost. Before one does so, it important to note that one may encourage further beach loss and erosion if one ignores expert input and impact assessments. Furthermore, beach nourishment should not be considered as an alternative to proper beach management and protection,and hotel developers should be aware that proper beach management and protection will increase the long term resilience of beaches and reduce nourishment costs.
NOAA Coastal Services Centre has come out with a Beach Nourishment Guide here.