New strategy for West Beach and Henley Beach sand restoration to be rolled out

The State Government will conduct nearshore dredging along Adelaide’s coast as recommended by the independent Adelaide Beach Management Review.

The State Government, in accordance with recommendations from the independent Adelaide Beach Management Review, will initiate nearshore dredging activities at North Haven and Taperoo. Additionally, there will be an expansion of mass replenishment initiatives at West Beach and Henley Beach South.

The independent review, released today, proposes a two-month dredging operation to assess the viability of using dredging as a sustainable, long-term solution for redistributing sand along the coast.

Nearshore dredging emerged as the most cost-effective option with strong community support during consultations and minimal disruption to residents in beachside neighbourhoods.

“Adelaide’s beaches are loved and enjoyed by so many in our community and we need to ensure they are protected and preserved,” Attorney-General Kyam Maher said.

“The State Government is taking a scientific approach to keeping sand on Adelaide’s beaches, which are used all year round by thousands of locals and tourists.

“Delivering this significant amount of sand to West Beach and Henley Beach South will combat erosion, protect infrastructure and improve amenity to support coastal communities and businesses.”

During the two-month dredging program, sand will be gathered from the nearshore area between Taperoo and North Haven and transported via barge to West Beach, where it will be pumped near the shoreline to replenish the beach.

Access to North Haven Marina and West Beach Boat Ramp is expected to remain unaffected during the trial period, although there will be an exclusion zone around the dredging site.

In addition to the anticipated 90,000 cubic meters of sand from the dredging initiative, West Beach and Henley Beach South will receive an additional 200,000 cubic meters of sand over the next 12 months, aligning with the review’s recommendation of an extra 550,000 cubic meters of sand over the next five years.

This additional sand will be sourced from areas outside the existing beach system, such as quarries or suitable offshore locations, significantly enhancing sand levels and beach quality at West Beach and Henley Beach South.

Temporary beach access restrictions may be necessary for safety purposes during sand delivery, as has been implemented previously.

The Department for Environment and Water, responsible for beach sand management, will explore alternative offshore sand sources for ongoing replenishment efforts. Scientific and environmental assessments of the dredging activities will be conducted, along with extensive community engagement.

As part of the approval process with the Environment Protection Authority, environmental impacts of dredging, including water quality and effects on seagrasses, will be closely monitored.

A total of $20.6 million has been allocated for beach management initiatives in 2024-25. Dredging operations are scheduled for completion by early November 2024, subject to approvals and vessel availability.

For more information on the dredging trial and the findings of the Adelaide Beach Management Review, visit the department’s website.

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