Beach Bits edition 5 | A strategy for our beaches

It’s no secret that Gold Coast beaches are internationally renowned for their long stretches of sand, world class waves and cool coastal lifestyle. Together, they boast a strong coastal economy that brings to life many benefits to both the city and to those who thrive from the bountiful seaside opportunities it offers. The desire to live by the sea and enjoy the waterways further shapes the city and connects the community to their environmental and social values.

there are many layers of management that are integrated to service the needs of everyone’s beach experience”

To achieve such a glittering Gold status along the Coast, the beaches are managed following an integrated coastal management approach. This links the triple bottom line (reaching a balance between the social, economic and environmental needs) and strategically directs and sets priorities – for instance the Ocean Beaches Strategy: 2013-2023.

Take your local beach for example. From the car park, to the parkland and viewing platform, to the access pathway and then the strip of sand, all the way to the surf, there are many layers of management that are integrated to service the needs of everyone’s beach experience.

Now imagine, as you walk towards the surf, you may have just walked over a seawall buried under the coastal dunes. The dunes provide another integrated management and amenity feature, and help buy time by accreting sand to withstand the impacts of coastal erosion. As well as provide a natural environment for native coastal flora and fauna and soften the urban landscape.

Rodger Tomlinson, an advisory Professor of Coastal Management to the City of Gold Coast stated that “this approach aims to collectively incorporate the hard and soft sciences of the coast, and for the Gold Coast this is directed through a stewardship partnership between the City of Gold Coast and the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management.

The Gold Coast has successfully achieved this through the integration of coastal science, planning and engineering, to everyday management activities and community engagement.”

For more information please visit griffith.edu.au/coastal-management.

Pictured: a coastal city that is defined by coastal opportunities. Photo courtesy City of Gold Coast.

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