A TRIAL aimed at tackling ongoing coastal erosion at Woorim's popular surf beach is one step closer to reality after Moreton Bay Regional Council awarded a $970,000 tender at its Coordination Committee Meeting on Tuesday, September 12.
The trial, to be conducted over a three to five-year period, will provide an innovative sand recycling system designed to capture a minimum of 35,000m3 of sand each year that would otherwise drift southwards and pump it back along Bribie Island's eastern beach.
Announcing the tender at council's Coordination Committee Meeting at Strathpine, Acting Mayor Mike Charlton said severe weather events in recent years had significantly impacted Woorim Beach, causing greater rates of erosion than normally expected, and that the trial system would help to restore the beach's profile and preserve its environmental and recreational values.
"The sand recycling system will include the installation of sand shifter equipment and approximately 2km of pipes from Benalong Street to just north of Fifth Avenue, together with up to six discharge locations where sand can be placed to maintain the beach profile," Cr Charlton said.
"In addition to regular beach nourishment, the trial system will also be able to respond to significant erosion events following severe weather and have the capacity to recycle up to 70,000m3 of sand, if required.
"Council will monitor the system's effectiveness throughout the duration of the trial as an alternative to current beach nourishment practices.
"A similar sand recycling system is currently used in Noosa, and provides valuable protection for coastlines and coastal infrastructure, while still allowing beaches to shift with the tides and respond to natural processes.
"As the only patrolled surf beach in our region and the closest to Brisbane, it's important that council looks at opportunities like this preserve Bribie Island's shoreline for current and future generations."
Division 1 Councillor Brooke Savige said the tender follows the commencement of specialist dredging and beach nourishment works last week, which will see 150,000m3 of sand restored along Woorim Beach over a 40-day period in preparation for the recycling trial.
"On Friday (September 8), Danish vessel Modi R began its 24/7 operation to deposit sand along Woorim Beach, with the 63m-long ship getting within metres of the shoreline and creating quite a sight for beachgoers," Cr Savige said.
"Modi R will make up to eight trips each day from Spitfire Banks to Woorim Beach, and deposit around 900m3 of sand each trip, or about 7,000m3 per day.
"Speaking with council officers, the dredging works have already received positive feedback from locals in terms of what it means for beach users and the local environment.
"The dredging works pave the way for the sand recycling trial and forms part of council's ongoing commitment to ensuring the long-term preservation of Woorim beach for residents, visitors and the local ecosystem."
Construction on the trial system is expected to commence in coming months following the completion of the beach nourishment works, with the system ready to commence operations in 2018/19.