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Over recent years, the grass has gotten bigger and the sand area has gotten slightly smaller at Pilot Bay. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

NZ - Keeping our beaches sandy

Sand is something we lie on, walk the dogs on, play cricket on – so many things come to mind when someone says sand, but how do our beaches and bays stay sandy?

Around Tauranga, there are four main beach areas - Papamoa Beach, Marine Parade Beaches, along the inner harbour there is Pilot Bay and Matua Peninsula.

With many beaches and bays also comes erosion. Tauranga City Council manager of spaces and places Mark Smith says erosion is happening at a slow rate within the harbour.

“The rate of erosion along our biggest beaches - Papamoa Beach and Marine Parade Beaches - is currently neutral, or slightly in accretion.

“In general terms, this happens when during the winter storms erode sand and during the summer the sand is deposited. This is why the work to restore the dunes right along our coastal reserve was really important because it helps to reduce the level of erosion that we experience in these areas and builds up protection from future storms,” says Mark.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council completes annual beach profiling in January and February at 53 points along the Bay of Plenty coastline from Opape in the east to Waihi Beach in the west.

Beach profiling involves using survey equipment to take cross-sectional measurements of the beach; starting from a benchmark located behind the frontal dune and moving seawards towards the low tide mark and often beyond. Data collected is then used to determine if a beach is in a state of accretion (receding), stable or erosion.

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