Jimmys Beach receives sand renourishment in heavy rain

A loaded sand truck drives between the angry waves and the disused black Sand Transfer System pipeline.

A FLEET of trucks has been busily transporting load after load of sand from the Winda Woppa stockpile to the Jimmys Beach erosion zone along The Boulevarde for the last several days.

The trucks are driving all the way from the stockpile at the extreme end of Winda Woppa peninsula, along the shoreline, to dump sand upon the erosion zone, levelled out by a bulldozer.

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Recent torrential rain, however, may be amplifying the natural erosion effects, already quite severe in a spot that the NSW Government has specifically identified as one of fifteen ‘erosion hotspots’ along the coast.

The trucks, a cheaper alternative to firing up the long-dormant Sand Transfer System (STS) near the stockpile, have also churned up the shoreline, leaving multiple corrugations and loosening the sand along the way.

The Winda Woppa Preservation Association (WWPA) does not believe that the shoreline corrugations will have a long-term effect.

“The WWPA would prefer to see the long-dormant STS running, but we are well aware that, for Council, trucking costs are still lower,” WWPA President Richard Streamer told NOTA.

“There has been further erosion than usual, past Guya Street, as far as Gemalla Street, too, and this current renourishment program is the first for twelve months.”

According to MidCoast Council, sand renourishment works have been scheduled to take place between 30 April and 17 May 2024, weather permitting, and signage and road change directions should be followed.

“Sand renourishment is undertaken each autumn to provide a buffer to protect assets such as the road,” said Council’s Director of Engineering and Infrastructure Services, Robert Scott.

“Continued dredging of the channel assists recreational boating, which is important to the community,” Mr Scott added.

Council’s program is to reform a sand buffer, which will be eroded by the ocean, protecting the existing coastline ‘on a temporary basis’, saying, “This short-term solution aims to protect community assets as well as beach amenity.”

The goal is, ultimately, to prevent a repeat of the 2015 catastrophe, when a large section of The Boulevarde actually fell into the sea during a massive storm.

The sand that the trucks are moving is sourced from a five-yearly dredging of the Myall Estuary’s eastern Natural Channel entrance, the next due in 2025.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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