Resilient coast strategy

Article image - Resilient coast strategy Jeremy Benn Pacific Director, Daniel Rodgers, Alluvium Director, Dr Elisa Zavadil, and Council Sustainability Officer, Nicola Learmond.

A team of coastal scientists, engineers and economists have become the first in Queensland to finish a ten year scientific strategy that will give Douglas Shire the tools to proactively manage and mitigate the impacts of coastal hazards.

Mayor, Julia Leu, said Council’s Resilient Coast Strategic Plan provides more certainty for a region already dealing with the impacts of erosion and storm tide inundation.

“This strategy equips us with the knowledge to proactively plan for future coastline impacts.

“Coastlines are dynamic, ever changing with each tide and storm.

“Erosion and storm tide events are natural processes that shape the coast over long timeframes, however, these events become coastal hazards when they impact on our Douglas communities.”

The State Government and Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) provided funding under the QCoast 2100 program to enable Queensland coastal councils to develop a strategic approach to managing coastal hazards.

The plan breaks down the shire by township and provides proactive steps for communities and Council to mitigate the impact on these localities, from now to 2100.

Some key actions include maintaining foreshore vegetation, preparing Shoreline Erosion Management Plans (SEMP) and increasing dune protection.

Coastal hazard specialists at Alluivium Consulting Australia led the team, which included weather risk management specialists Jeremy Benn Pacific (JBP) and Natural Capital Economics. 

Alluvium Director, Dr Elisa Zavadil, a coastal geomorphologist and engineer with over 16 years’ experience, said the strategic plan used best practice approach to all technical assessments and strategic planning.

“Douglas Shire is prone to cyclones and storm events, and coastal hazard impacts are predicted to increase.

“We now have more accurate and refined data for Douglas Shire that results in improved estimates and greater confidence to plan.”

Importantly, the strategic plan was also informed by all Douglas communities over the last 12 months, through workshops and knowledge sharing opportunities.

JBP Director, Daniel Rodgers, a coastal engineer with more than 13 years international experience, said the strategy used best practice modelling in coastal engineering.

“This document provides the best long term prediction of coastal hazard areas over the next few decades.”

Council’s Sustainability Officer, Nicola Learmond, said the plan allowed Council and public to better prepare for the coastal hazards.

“We have a strong sense of community stewardship in Douglas Shire, and our strategic plan will continue to foster the shared care of our spectacular coastline.

“It is important for our local community to have a say and help us finalise this Resilient Coast Strategic Plan.”