THE first of its kind on the NSW coast, construction of a sand transfer system is progressing on schedule at Jimmys Beach Hawks Nest and from this winter will help to maintain a sand buffer to prepare the Beach for erosion during severe weather events.
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A tri-funding arrangement between the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, MidCoast Council and the Department of Primary Industries Crown Lands and Water, the $3.7 million project uses pumps to take sand from the Winda Woppa sand stockpile to renourish Jimmys Beach.
“We’ve constructed the pump house, installed the pumps and pipes, and are now undertaking the remaining works to complete the system” said MidCoast Council’s Coastal Management Coordinator, Andrew Staniland.
“With favourable conditions, and no unforeseeable delays, the system should be operational by May.”
Council has faced an ongoing battle to provide a sand buffer for the best part of 30 years on Jimmys Beach at Hawks Nest, one of NSW’s 12 identified coastal erosion hotspots.
Southerly winds and swells which usually arrive on the east coast during weather characterised by low pressure systems, cause the sand to be stripped from Jimmys Beach.
With community support strongly behind the preservation of the existing beachfront, Council has pursued a program of sand renourishment of the Beach after each storm event, trucking sand in along the beachfront.
“Sand renourishment has been identified as the most efficient way to provide a buffer for Jimmys Beach, and has the advantage of preserving the Beach for people’s enjoyment.”
With that in mind, and after extensive investigations into all types of options for controlling erosion, it was determined that the sand transfer system was viable for Jimmys Beach. It provides a more reliable source of sand that is readily available when required and is a cheaper option than trucking sand.
Thanks to the joint funding arrangement, the construction of the sand transfer system was commenced in July 2018.
“All beaches are unique, and while the sand transfer system is the best management option for Jimmys Beach, it may not be suitable for other eroding beaches on the MidCoast” said Andrew.
“This system is not designed to stop the erosion, however, it will continue to provide a sand buffer along the Winda Woppa foreshore far more effectively than previous trucking campaigns.”
For more information on this project and MidCoast Council’s other coastal management programs, please visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/coastal.