Decades of data to be reviewed in new Geraldton coastal erosion project

Staff reporterGeraldton Guardian
City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn in front of the Midalias Beach rock groyne.
Camera IconCity of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn in front of the Midalias Beach rock groyne. Credit: City of Greater Geraldton

A joint project to review data to better understand the impacts of coastal erosion and how to tackle it has recently started in Geraldton.

The coastal monitoring program, jointly funded between the State Government, City of Greater Geraldton and University of WA, also includes reviewing almost two decades of coastal data and multiple coastal studies previously done by the Mid West Ports Authority and Northern Agricultural Catchments Council.

The 10-week project will be undertaken by UWA intern Bianca Veth and funded by a $10,000 UWA student internship. City engineering officers will help with data research, and extra 10-week rotational internship are being considered by UWA to ensure continuity.

Separate from that program, final-year UWA engineering masters student Tasma Allen will be doing a coastal monitoring thesis in Geraldton over the next 12 months.

City Mayor Shane Van Styn said data review was the first step towards understanding how previous efforts to mitigate coastal erosion had worked.

“Over the years sand bypassing, sand nourishment and the construction of rock and Geotextile Sand Container groynes and sea walls have been used to reduce coastal erosion,” he said.

“During this time MWPA, NACC and the City have been independently collecting data on how some of these works have been effecting shoreline movements.

“This data is now being shared and once it’s reviewed, we will know where the gaps and overlaps in the monitoring have been and will be able to take a co-ordinated approach to all current and future coastal monitoring initiatives at known erosion hotspots and in front of groynes and sea walls.”

The $38,000 coastal monitoring program is one of the key recommendations of the Geraldton Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan.

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