Sand plan to make these locations just beachy

Two popular Sunshine Coast beaches will soon receive a sand boost that will make them even more attractive to walkers and swimmers.

Alexandra Headland and Maroochydore beaches will be replenished over the cooler and usually calmer months to provide a buffer against erosion.

It is expected that about 100,000m3 of sand – enough to fill the equivalent of 10,000 trucks  – will be pumped in from the lower Maroochy River.

The campaign, which will run from June to September, will place sand outside of the areas focused on in late 2022 as part of the Nearshore Nourishment Trial.

This project will include the zone in front of Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club.

Sunshine Coast Division 4 Councillor Joe Natoli said the Maroochydore Beach Renourishment Project had been successfully protecting the well-loved location since it began in 2013.

“About every two years council replenishes the sand along Maroochydore Beach to widen the beach and uphold the erosion buffer,” Cr Natoli said.

“The buffer protects important community infrastructure such as the surf lifesaving towers, viewing decks, car parks, roads, park and playgrounds from severe erosion caused by storms, swells and weather events.

“This buffer needs to be approximately 50 metres wide to provide protection to these areas during an extreme storm.

“Sand renourishment, dune revegetation and protection, and limiting beach access points are all part of the current shoreline management approach on Maroochydore Beach, which is expected to continue for many years to come.”

Sand buffering: How it works

The project uses an existing pipeline that has been in place since 2013.

A small cutter suction dredge and two booster pumps are used to move the sand from the river to the beach.

The dredge will remain in the river throughout the project.

The booster pumps are needed to push the sand up the entire length of the beach.

The booster pumps are stored in an insulated storage container to minimise noise and are located in the southeast corner of the carpark at the end of Cotton Tree Parade and Memorial Avenue, and opposite 6-8 Aerodrome Road. 

Sand will then be pumped onto Maroochydore Beach, beginning at Okinja Road in the south and heading to Alexandra Headland SLSC before moving north to the Maroochydore SLSC. 

Access to some parts of the following areas will be restricted to ensure community safety:

•           the car park at Cotton Tree Parade and Memorial Avenue

•           sections of Maroochydore and Alexandra Headland beaches during nourishment operations

•           the spit near the Cotton Tree Holiday Park

•           beach accesses 143, 152 and 154

•           park area opposite 6-8 Aerodrome Road.

Work will take place between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday and on Saturdays if required.

More information on the Maroochydore Beach Sand Nourishment program is available by searching ‘maroochydore sand nourishment’ on council’s website at sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.

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