Not much left of Main Beach at Evans Head thanks to large swells and king tides.
Not much left of Main Beach at Evans Head thanks to large swells and king tides. Samantha Elley

Evans Head to fight erosion

EFFORTS to save the Evans Head surf club from the effects of coastal erosion and climate change will be boosted with a $44,000 grant from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

Richmond Valley Council will use the grant to pay for 50% of a Coastal Zone Management Plan for the Evans Head Coastline and River Estuary.

Previous studies on the likely impact of predicted sea level rises showed a risk of potential erosion at the Evans Head-Casino Surf Life Saving Club by the year 2050.

The study also found a small proportion of the Silver Sands Holiday Park may be affected by coastal erosion by 2100.

Richmond Valley Council's manager of strategic planning Ray Medhurst said other coastal councils across Australia are creating similar plans to combat the effects of climate change. "We're lucky in that we have a very small section of coastline and very little development except for the surf club and the Silver Sands Holiday Park. There are assets we could lose like the beach access, the surf club and some coastal reserves but nothing like at Byron Bay where they have houses sitting on the dune front area."

The management plan will focus on how council, public authorities, and potentially, the private sector, can address management issues in the Evans Head coastline and estuary area.

Mr Medhurst said the plan will focus on achieving cost-effective long-term outcomes that benefit the public and protect coastal ecosystems.

"The aim of the study is to look at all the options and to have a planned retreat. We'll ask questions such as, do we put in physical infrastructure like the sea walls they have on the Gold Coast? Then we will compare all the options based on value and effectiveness."

Residents living behind the dunes in the popular Airforce Beach area could also notice a visible change if the predicted sea level rises are accurate.

"A lot of people will sit back and think we are a long way away from coast," Mr Medhurst explained.

"But it is interesting to note that the one-in-100-year sea level rises will come fairly close to the houses on Airforce Beach and they could have a very nice ocean view which they don't have at the moment."



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