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People exercise on what remains of Maroochydore Beach. Cade Mooney

Early communication the key for Maroochydore Beach* Nourishment Project

Queensland, Australia - While meeting in a boardroom may be considered more official, it made sense for several North Shore Boardriders Club members and Sunshine Coast Council staff to connect on the sands of Maroochydore Beach.

The meeting was to discuss the Maroochydore Beach Renourishment Project, where every two years since late 2013 council contractors extract sand from the lower Maroochy River to replenish the shoreline of Maroochydore Beach, protecting it from natural erosion.

Division 8 Councillor Jason O’Pray said these nourishment works, which begin on June 18, are essential to maintain the beach and uphold council’s vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region.

“While you may not know it looking at the beach now, but in the summer of 2011, our Maroochydore Beach was in a severely eroded state with vast areas of exposed coffee rock,” Cr O’Pray said.

“These works have ensured ongoing protection of the adjacent assets from storm erosion, and allow the shoreline to respond to natural erosion events.

“We’ve learned a lot over the years, and it’s great to see our council officers getting out on site to meet with community groups to share updates, knowledge and get their feedback.”

President of the North Shore Boardriders Club Shane Bevo was pleased about this early communication and engagement from council.

“Our first priority that we flagged with council is to make sure the beach stays beautiful and is maintained for everyone’s enjoyment,” Mr Bevo said.

“Following that, we want to make sure sand is delivered to the right areas offshore so the surf break isn’t impacted, as this break is our home training grounds.

“The communication with council has been really good and we’re happy that they’ve kept us informed about the project and the new techniques they’ll be trialing to help preserve our surf break.”

This new technique was suggested by one of council’s coastal engineers, Georgia Keeshan, who is also an avid surfer.

“In previous years, we found that delivering the extracted sand in a continuous line from the shore would tend to flatten out the ocean floor where there might have been different depths of the sand bar,” Ms Keeshan said.

“So for this year’s work, we are trialing a more fragmented approach to delivering the sand, working around two popular breaks.

“Our team will keep the Boardriders club up to date on how this process goes, taking on their feedback on how the beach and surf is affected.

“The intent is to do our best with these trial delivery methods so that our community can continue to enjoy the waves they know and love.”

In addition to working with the Boardriders on this sand delivery technique, council officers have liaised with community members at the sand extraction end of the project.

There was concern about too much sand being taken from Flathead Point in the Maroochy River, which is a popular fishing spot for the locals.

In response to this community feedback, council adjusted the dredging program so that less sand would be removed from this location.

It is anticipated that sand extraction and delivery will continue for a number of weeks (weather dependent), bringing a total of 100,000 cubic metres of loose sand material through the pipeline that was constructed in 2013.

See Mirage News article . . .

* Maroochydore is a coastal town and suburb of the Sunshine Coast Region, Queensland, Australia. At the 2016 census the suburb recorded a population of 16,800.The town was subdivided from the Cotton Tree reserve by Surveyor Thomas O'Connor in 1903. The land was acquired from William Pettigrew who had a timber depot at what is now Wharf Street.