An excavator at work at Ramsgate on Botany Bay this week. CREDIT:JAMES ALCOCK

Australia: Building a beach for summer: the battle against coastal erosion

They are making sandcastles with excavators at Ramsgate Beach. Summer is coming, but Botany Bay has swallowed the beach whole and waves are lapping at the sea wall.

So the Bayside Council stumped up $900,000 to pump sand 1.4 kilometres through a pipe from Dolls Point and plump it back on Ramsgate.

While King Canute of Denmark proved his wisdom by demonstrating he could not hold back the tide, councils are proving their will to protect their local beaches by demonstrating that they can.

In the long term, rising sea levels and more intense storms threaten to wash the beaches away. Sea levels are expected to lift by anything from 4.5 to 44 centimetres over the next 40 years, which will pose a particular danger in estuary towns where even a small rise will inundate houses.

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See Narrabeen Beach erosion and recovery timelapse: April 2015 storm


Ramsgate Beach is a suburb in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Ramsgate Beach is located 16 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district, in the Bayside Council and is part of the St George area. The postcode is 2217. Ramsgate is a separate suburb, to the west.