- Last updated:
- 23 May 2017
Maroochydore Beach is prone to natural erosion events. Council will use sand from the Maroochy River to widen and restore the beach to provide protection from future storms. This project will ensure the economic and social values of the beach are maintained.
Widening Maroochydore Beach will increase the distance between roads, paths and buildings, and areas where dunes are damaged. Sand will be taken from the lower Maroochy River and delivered to the beach via a pipeline.
Dredging and sand distribution has finished for 2013. Revegetation to help strengthen the dunes began in October 2013 and was completed early 2014.
Additional sand will be placed on Maroochydore Beach in 2016, as part of the second stage of this project.
Without enough sand on Maroochydore Beach, roads and pathways, parks and buildings could be damaged. There are a number of important aspects of this project:
- Sand will be placed on the beach in two operations – this is expected to be 125,000m3 of sand in 2012 and 75,000m3 in 2015.
- Native shrubs will be planted after the sand is placed on the beach, to stabilise the dunes.
- There will be minimal environmental impacts.
- Dredging will occur outside the main shorebird migration period between October and April and the main fish spawning periods between June and August (as determined by the moon phases).
- Dredging will meet all environmental conditions of the government permits.
- Sand will be placed on the beach using a dredge, pipeline and booster pumps. The pipeline will stay on the beach for future sand replacement projects.
Coastal engineering consultants provided information that this project is a suitable interim erosion protection measure. Council consulted environmental groups, businesses and community groups about this project.
For more information, view the list of frequently asked questions.
The pattern of shoreline erosion on Maroochydore Beach is typical of most sandy beaches in South East Queensland:
- Major beach erosion occurs when storms produce extreme sea levels and waves. This is more likely to occur during the summer months and the cyclone season.
- Sand eroded from the beach during a storm is stored offshore and much of this sand slowly moves back onshore during calmer conditions, typically during the winter months.
- Recovery from severe erosion can take many years and sometimes relies on extended periods of relatively calm conditions.
There are important public buildings, road, paths, and parks at risk without sufficient sand on Maroochydore Beach. These include:
- Aerodrome Road/Alexandra Parade (State controlled road)
- Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club, the parks around it and the skate park (currently protected by a decaying sea wall)
- Sea Breeze Caravan Park
- Maroochydore Surf Club
- public space including pedestrian and cycle pathways
- beach access locations.
Maroochydore Beach needs to be around 40 metres wide to protect these assets during an extreme storm. Some areas of Maroochydore Beach have eroded to less than 20 metres.
Protecting Maroochy River and wildlife
Council will monitor the beach to measure the success of initial works. Future sand replacement will only be considered if these initial works do not cause damage to the Maroochy River or wildlife.
For more information, please contact council's customer service centre.