Byron Bay lifeguard supervisor Steve Mills at Main Beach Byron Bay. Erosion has impacted the shoreline from Main Beach to Clarkes Beach. The beaches have been closed and debris is strewn along what remains of the sand.
Byron Bay lifeguard supervisor Steve Mills at Main Beach Byron Bay. Erosion has impacted the shoreline from Main Beach to Clarkes Beach. The beaches have been closed and debris is strewn along what remains of the sand.

'Never seen it this bad': Shock over Byron beach erosion

ACCESS to Clarkes Beach remains closed after s erious erosion hit the beach last week.

Byron Bay's Main Beach is also effectively closed with debris littering the sand and hazards in the water.

Byron Bay lifeguard supervisor Steve Mills said he had never seen Byron in such a state.

"At the moment there's lots of rocks, submerged rocks, close to shore," Mr Mills said.

"We did have some sand further along near the groyne … now that's been eroded too."

As the beach itself remains littered with debris, there's also been lots in the water, Mr Mills said.

 

Main Beach Byron Bay on July 28, 2020. Main Beach and Clarkes Beach have been damaged by serious erosion and have been left covered in debris.
Main Beach Byron Bay on July 28, 2020. Main Beach and Clarkes Beach have been damaged by serious erosion and have been left covered in debris.

 

Submerged rocks have been uncovered by the shifting sands in the past month, he said.

"All of July, the rocks have been exposed," he said.

At a time when Byron would usually be brimming with people during the Splendour in the Grass festival, which was cancelled this year due to COVID-19, it's been difficult but essential to close the beach off.

"It's unfortunate at the moment but it's for their safety that we've got it closed," he said.

He said people had been adhering to their signage which warns against visiting the beach and swimming.

 

There has been major erosion at Byron Bay over the last few days.
There has been major erosion at Byron Bay over the last few days.

The beach access tracks to Clarkes Beach were closed after a southerly swell caused significant erosion on a stretch of coast where the sand was already depleted.

Byron Shire Council staff have been working on cleaning up the area and have asked people to stay well away from the eroded, unstable dunes.

"There is a very steep drop from the top of the dunes to the beach and we have repaired or closed some access paths to make sure that no one gets hurt," the council's coastal and biodiversity co-ordinator, Chloe Dowsett, said.

There has been major erosion at Byron Bay over the last few days.
There has been major erosion at Byron Bay over the last few days.

"We have also lost more of our concrete access path that was installed for people with mobility devices like wheelchairs.

"Mature trees and other coastal vegetation have fallen into the ocean and stormwater pipes are exposed."

The high tide has been rising to the edge of the cliff-like dunes along Clarkes Beach.



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