Cambridge Coastcare have a project underway at the Floreat Dog-Beach to try to stem erosion of coastal dunes at the closest point between ocean and West Coast Highway – about 100-150m. Winter storms and human activity have gouged a semi-circle of dune blow-out at path 16, which threatens to spread to WCH and to have sand blowing across the road if the project fails. Our first attempt to stabilise dunes at this location two years ago was vandalised by beachgoers so we are hoping that publicity of our efforts will inform a better response to our efforts this time.
Before the work:
On 28 and 29 November, we were grateful for the help of teams from Conservation Volunteers on both days and from Shell Australia on Thursday. Together, they have “planted” over 100 fencing poles in the soft sand – that is hard work as the sand tries to fill the hole as quickly as you can dig it out.
We attached farm-style fencing to the poles and stapled windbreak material to that to catch the sand. We have positioned 15-20 short fences angled across the sea-breeze to catch the sand and build back the eroded dunes. The work will also improve conditions for beachgoers in this location by providing a wind-break for beach-goers. If successful by next winter, we will close off the avenues created by our fencing, putting down matting and planting with Spinifex to try to stabilise dunes and advance the line of protection they provide against erosion.
It seems harmless enough to climb the sand-dunes and some people even pit their energy reserves against them, by repeated running up and down the soft sandy slopes, but this accentuates the damage and kills off the runners of plants like Spinifex which colonise coastal dunes and prevent erosion. Please help us educate beach-users to avoid these activities which damage the environment and will lead to loss of infrastructure and eventually housing if left unchecked. Our plea is to stick to designated paths!
Windbreaks in place: