The tides bring it in and they take it away again and beachgoers in the Byron Shire are being warned to stay away from the dunes at Clarkes Beach and New Brighton as the ocean has consumed much of the sand.
Byron Shire Council’s Director of infrastructure services, Phil Holloway, said the area at Clarkes Beach has seen significant coastal erosion and dunes could potentially collapse.
‘Safety is paramount,’ says Holloway. ‘People are urged to not walk or sit close to the erosion escarpment and not allow children (or anyone) to play or dig near the dunes.
‘Clarkes Beach is presently starved of sand due to the limited sand bypassing Cape Byron. Plus, we’ve had high tides and dangerous surf conditions.’
Staff have been monitoring the situation and removing debris from Council controlled areas over the weekend. Council has also been working closely with National Parks, the Office of Environment and Heritage and Reflections Caravan Park at Byron Bay.
Access tracks from the coastal reserve to Clarkes Beach have undergone severe erosion, collapsed and have been closed to the public until they can be repaired. Council will be undertaking works on the all-abilities beach access and asks beachgoers to not use it until it is fixed and to please not take down the signage or tape.
The foreshore dune at New Brighton has also suffered some erosion that has created an escarpment around 1m in front of the existing dune protection fencing and if it continues, dune fencing may be affected. Council staff are also monitoring these areas.
· Be aware of the risk that unstable dunes present
· Avoid walking or lying/sunbathing directly under the escarpment
· Do not allow children to play directly under or around the dune escarpment
· Stay off the dunes to allow the dune vegetation to re-establish
· Only use formal access paths to access the beach and if they are closed do not ignore the signs and tape.