Construction of an Environmentally Sustainable Development on a Modified Coastal Sand Mined and Landfill Site—Part 2. Re-Establishing the Natural Ecosystems on the Reconstructed Beach Dunes

A Water and Marine Sustainability Month Feature Article

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Anne Marie Clements, Appollonia Simmonds (Anne Clements and Associates) and the co-authors listed in the citation have published an excellent paper focusing on the re-establishment of natural ecosystems on reconstructed beach dunes in a former sand-mining and landfill location.  The abstract/introduction to this good paper reads:

Mimicking natural processes lead to progressive colonization and stabilization of the reconstructed beach dune ecosystem, as part of the ecologically sustainable development of Magenta Shores, on the central coast of New South Wales, Australia. The retained and enhanced incipient dune formed the first line of storm defence. Placement of fibrous Leptospermum windrows allowed wind blown sand to form crests and swales parallel to the beach. Burial of Spinifex seed head in the moist sand layer achieved primary colonization of the reconstructed dune and development of a soil fungal hyphae network prior to introduction of secondary colonizing species. Monitoring stakes were used as roosts by birds, promoting re-introduction of native plant species requiring germination by digestive tract stimulation. Bush regeneration reduced competition from weeds, allowing native vegetation cover to succeed. On-going weeding and monitoring are essential at Magenta Shores until bitou bush is controlled for the entire length of beach. The reconstructed dunes provide enhanced protection from sand movement and storm bite, for built assets, remnant significant vegetation and sensitive estuarine ecosystems.

This paper describes how the natural dune ecosystems of the Coastal Protection Zone (CPZ) were restored to increase protection from storm and sand erosion, for the Magenta Shores development on the central coast of New South Wales, Australia. The Coastal Protection Zone at Magenta Shores fronts 2.3 km of the exposed approximately 7.5 km long Tuggerah Beach. Natural erosion risk at Tuggerah Beach has been increased as a result of previous sand mining.

Beaches and dunes are part of natural coastal defences. Restoration of the natural beach dune ecosystems at Magenta Shores was directed to reducing erosion risk from storm bite and sand movement. This increased protection of the built assets, environmentally significant vegetation and sensitive estuarine systems. At commencement of the development, approximately 2 km of the Coastal Protection Zone (CPZ) and the coastal strip to the south had more than 66 percent cover by exotic species. Only the northern third of the CPZ had more than 50 percent native component, with sufficient potential for assisted natural regeneration.

Read the full paper in PDF format by clicking here.

Citation: Clements, A.; Simmonds, A.; Hazelton, P.; Inwood, C.; Woolcock, C.; Markovina, A.-L.; O’Sullivan, P. Construction of an Environmentally Sustainable Development on a Modified Coastal Sand Mined and Landfill Site—Part 2. Re-Establishing the Natural Ecosystems on the Reconstructed Beach Dunes. Sustainability 2010, 2, 717-741.

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