The $18.2 million artificial reef will prevent erosion and allow sand to build up
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, announced plans to build a $18.2 million artificial reef to protect the coastline from erosion. The work is expected to begin in April after almost four years of planning and testing.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Gold Coast suburbs on Palm Beach and Narrowneck were hit especially hard when Cyclone Oma hit the coast last week and that the area is historically one of the worst-hit areas during storms.
“The main reason we are doing this is to protect property and lives,” said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. “The most vulnerable part of our coastline after Narrowneck has been Palm Beach, so it is a wonderful day, finally, to be able to say we are going to commence this artificial reef.”
The artificial reef will be 160 meters long and approximately 80 meters wide. The reef will protect the coast by disrupting waves, reported The Sydney Morning Herald. City officials said they hope the project will allow sand to build up along Palm Beach to replenish areas impacted by beach erosion.
The first phase of the project was to shift sand to the Palm Beach region and then build the reef.
As of Feb. 25, 2019, officials said the testing was complete and phase two could begin.
"All necessary planning for phase 2 of the project has been done and we are now ready to commence," Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Tate continued by saying that phase two will “add significant protection one of our most vulnerable stretches of coastline.”
The project was developed as part of the Gold Coast City Council’s Ocean Beaches Strategy, which was created in 2015 to fund strategic beach projects.
According to the Brisbane Times, the strategy came about in 2013 after three years of inclement storms hit the area. The Brisbane Times continued by explaining that the Gold Coast is susceptible to rising sea levels, according to a 2014 Climate Council of Australia report titled “Counting the Costs – Climate Change and Coastal Flooding.”
In 2016, the Gold Coast City Council funded study of the project and the testing recently was completed. The project isn’t expected to disrupt any residents or tourists other than some lights from night work. Construction of the reef is set to be finished by October 2019.
Read more about erosion control here: