Community Comment Sought For Stockton Coastal Management Plans

City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.

EROSION at Stockton Beach is an issue that many residents are impacted by.

Businesses have suffered temporary closures and the old tip site has been exposed.

Now there is positive action and the City of Newcastle is seeking feedback from the community on erosion management options for the northern area of Stockton Beach as part of work underway on the Stockton Coastal Management Program (CMP) 2021.

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The land to the north of Meredith Street is owned and managed by Defence Housing Australia, Hunter Water, Crown Land and the Department of Communities and Justice, and the City of Newcastle is working closely with these stakeholders during development of the 2021 CMP.

Four schemes have been identified to best complement the mass sand nourishment agreed on in the Stockton CMP 2020 while also providing a buffer from erosion and considering the environment, social amenity and recreational use of the beach.

The schemes being considered for further investigation for the northern end of Stockton Beach from Meredith Street to the Port Stephens Local Government Area boundary include maintenance nourishment, an artificial reef, an artificial headland and sand back passing.

Sand Nourishment involves replacing around 45 olympic swimming pools of sand that currently moves north from Stockton Beach along the Stockton Bight each year.

Actively ‘keeping the sand moving’ reinstating the natural sand flow.

An Artificial Headland would involve building an artificial headland that would extend into the ocean by around 150 to 200 metres.

This would slow the northern movement of sand along Stockton Bight while creating recreational benefits.

An Artificial Reef involves building a submerged artificial reef.

The artificial reef would slow the northward movement of sand along Stockton Bight by reducing wave energy reaching the beach, providing a surfing benefit.

Using a Sand Back Passing System involves recirculating sand using machinery that will collect sand, feeding it via a pipe network to the south, to outlets placed along Stockton Beach.

During operation, small sections of the beach would be closed to the public, however most of the beach would remain open.

City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said work is underway on the Stockton CMP 2021, with an aim of identifying additional coastal management options to extend the life of mass sand nourishment.

“We’re investigating the feasibility of these schemes to ensure each is possible and would provide consideration to the entire Stockton Bight,” Cr Nelmes said.

“During this early phase we are gathering feedback from the community on the schemes that have been developed to help prolong mass sand nourishment.

“The Stockton Community Liaison Group has provided feedback on the positives and drawbacks of each scheme, allowing the designs to progress to this point.

“We would now like to hear from the wider community about what people like or don’t like about the options we’re considering, and why.”

City of Newcastle is working closely with owned and managed by Defence Housing Australia, Hunter Water, Crown Land and the Department of Communities and Justice during development of the 2021 CMP.

“These stakeholders must agree to the coastal management actions in the Stockton CMP 2021 to allow it to be sent for certification from the State Government.

Without agreement, the CMP cannot progress,” Cr Nelmes said.

The community is encouraged to learn more about the management options and provide feedback at newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Stockton or by accessing a paper survey at Stockton Library.

There are drop in sessions where members of the public can speak to the project team on 15 and 22 April 2021.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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