Great that the online Echonetdaily can support such a discussion. (https://www.echo.net.au/2015/07/coastal-expert-warns-of-rock-wall-dangers/)
It’s also good that Angus Gordon was interviewed in the first place.
Is an engineer a scientist? Who is a scientist? Wouldn’t the most important issue here be the understanding and application of scientific information by all concerned parties? Otherwise, we must all simply stop our discussion right here.
- A careful re-reading of the article shows that Gordon describes a range of engineering options, back then in 1978 and now in 2015. He makes it clear that rock walls contribute to erosion and the sand nourishment is ‘an important adjunct’. As you know, the latest proposal is to pump sand from Tallow Beach.
- I still do not know how/why the council pdf of the document that I find differs from the one being cited above.
- I suggest that now is an important time to reflect on the Belongil spit. Erosion is ongoing. Water encroaches from both sides of the spit. What is its likely future, as a place and as a community asset? The probabilities that rock walls will NOT further erosion are slight or nil. Re-vegetation may actually be much more valuable. That kind of care has changed Main and Clarke’s beaches. (see Toolijooa re-vegetation and Sunshine coast buried seawall links below.)
But Byron shire, its people and the beach here are in different circumstances. There is a policy of retreat and that still applies.
Soon there is a public process in the Coastal Zone Management Plan to think holistically across all the shire about this. The Dutch have some inspiring ways to plan life with water (see links below)
Mary Gardner, Byron Bay