Council explains its coastal study

Beach hazard zones
Beach hazard zones

WHAT is the Coffs Harbour Coastal Processes and Hazard Definition Study?

The Coffs Harbour Coastal Processes and Hazards Definition Study investigated the coastal processes occurring along the Coffs Harbour local government area coastline and the extent of the coastal hazards arising from these processes.

The report summarises coastal processes and hazards, the methodology used to assess the coastal hazards, the approach to the hazards definition mapping and a detailed beach-by-beach summary.

Coastal processes are waves, winds, storms and currents that all interact to shape the coastline.

The study looks at current coastal processes as well as changes to coastal processes due to projected climate change – in particular sea level rise and wave height and direction change.

Coastal hazards arise from the interaction between coastal processes and existing uses of the coastline.

This may result in detrimental effects on the land, assets and amenity of the coastline.

Coastal hazards are beach erosion, shoreline recession, waterway entrance instability, sand drift, coastal inundation, slope and cliff instability and stormwater erosion.

As part of the study, hazard zones were mapped for beach erosion, recession and coastal inundation, including the possible impacts of sea level rise to the year 2100.


Why is Coffs Harbour City Council preparing a Coastal Zone Management Plan?

The State Government requires all coastal councils in NSW to prepare Coastal Zone Management Plans in accordance with state policies and guidelines.


At what stage is Coffs Harbour City Council’s Plan?

The NSW Government guidelines for preparing a Coastal Zone Management Plan include the following stages:

  • Stage 1: identify hazards/management issues and their severity
  • Stage 2: identify and evaluate management options
  • Stage 3: propose management actions and an implementation schedule.

The council has completed Stage 1 – the Coffs Harbour Coastal Processes and Hazard Definition Study.

The study identified the likelihood of hazards occurring.

During Stage 2, the consequences of coastal risks will be investigated to determine the overall level of risk from coastal hazards.

Stage 2 will then investigate all potential coastal management options and consultation will take place with the council and the community to determine the preferred options.

Stage 3 involves incorporation of the preferred options into a Draft Coastal Zone Management Plan, which will then be exhibited for public consultation.

Stages 2 and 3 are due to begin in June 2011 and are expected to take 12 months.

It is anticipated that the Draft Coastal Zone Management Plan will be ready for public exhibition in early 2012.

Following that public exhibition, any further feedback will be addressed and the final Draft Coastal Zone Management Plan will be submitted to the council for adoption and implementation.

Topics:  coffs harbour city council plan

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