Wooli Beach is recognised by the NSW Government as a coastal erosion 'hotspot' and coastal risk threatens both the Beach and the adjacent village. The Wooli community has a long involvement with the development of a Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP). Coastal hazard investigations commenced in the mid-1990’s and implementation of management strategies has been largely ineffective at mitigating risk, particularly to property and infrastructure.
The local community had a preference for ‘soft’ coastal management options such as beach nourishment. Royal Haskoning DHV was engaged to assess potential onshore and offshore sand sources and to assess the feasibility of beach nourishment. The project included a desktop study, field investigation, sediment sampling and an assessment of the cost to importing nourishment material from various sand sources to Wooli Beach and other nearby beaches.
The volume of nourishment material required to nourish Wooli Beach was determined by assessing historic photogrammetry and survey to calculate the rate of long term beach recession and the volume of sand in front of the village available to meet storm erosion demand. The volume of sand at each sand source was determined and the compatibility of nourishment sand and native beach sand was assessed to identify suitable sand sources. The investigation of sand sources was not limited by legislative or administrative constraints, or land tenure and a beach nourishment scheme sourcing sand from a suitable source was designed to provide an effective buffer for up to a 50 year storm.
Following the sand sourcing investigation and development of a beach nourishment scheme, a revised draft Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for Wooli Beach was prepared. The plan seeks to undertake beach nourishment in conjunction with other management actions to reduce risk to human life, property and infrastructure and further educate the community, whilst keeping an eye to the future.
The CZMP implemented effective management strategies, built on improved working relationships across State and Local Government and the Wooli community, and repaired trust between the Wooli community and the Government.