Eroding coastline an ongoing worry

Dunes at Mounts Bay following renourishment in October last year.

A Marengo man says Mounts Bay’s coastline has receded about 20 metres since 1995, amid calls for long-term protections against erosion.

Phil Lawson measured from the centre of the dunes at Marengo to the Great Ocean Road yesterday and compared the measurements with reference points from a 1995 aerial photograph, saying he believed the dunes had receded 20 metres.

Mr Lawson, who has measured the dunes on an irregular basis since 2011, said the work of authorities carting sand onto the beach in the past two years meant the dunes’ recession had slowed.

The State Government spent $150,000 last year replenishing three metres of sand dune at Marengo to provide an immediate buffer from winter storms, on top of about 16,000 cubic metres of sand replaced in 2017.

But a new State Government-commissioned study says between 70 and 90 per cent of replaced sand is washing away, with the authors saying replacing the sand will “buy time” but is not “a viable long-term response”.

The study recommends investigating “other renourishment and engineering solutions” and states that without further action, seaward utilities and the Great Ocean Road could be compromised in “less than a decade a possibly within five years”.

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