Project Description

CungullaCungulla is a coastal community located approximately 35kms east-south-east of Townsville’s CBD. The complex interaction of waves, tidal currents, winds and creek flows are continually shaping and reshaping the shoreline fronting the Cungulla community. Consequently the approximately 2km long crescent-shaped foreshore has been experiencing variable rates of erosion in recent decades, threatening private and public assets.

In response to this threat, many residents along the immediate foreshore have instigated ad hoc measures in an attempt to prevent further shoreline recession. To date most of these works have been unapproved and are largely ineffectual. Indeed many have actually aggravated erosion processes on nearby allotments – leading to an on-going and ever expanding need by local landholders to instigate their own erosion mitigation works.

Given their ad hoc nature and inappropriate structural design and construction, such works invariably have failed or been damaged during storms – degrading foreshore use and the local visual amenity.

Cungulla_2In recognition of the need to preserve this foreshore as a natural resource and to accommodate an expected increasing erosion threat to foreshore areas, Coastal Engineering Solutions (in association with NQ Dry Tropics) recently completed a Shoreline Erosion Management Plan for Cungulla. Its purpose is to provide a framework for the sustainable use, development and management of the Cungulla foreshore.

The primary strategy recommended by the SEMP is to undertake beach nourishment along the at-risk foreshore – so as to provide an erosion buffer that can accommodate the expected shoreline recession caused by a 100 year ARI cyclone event. Sand for this initial nourishment will be sourced from existing commercial sand extraction operations in the region without adverse environmental impacts. The newly created erosion buffer will be maintained by periodic back-passing operations that relocate sand that has moved naturally alongshore into accreting areas downdrift.

Appropriate dune management practices will be implemented on the newly nourished foreshore. As a minimum, this entails the planting and protection of native dune vegetation, the on-going clearing of noxious weed species and ensuring adequate controlled access is maintained through new dune areas.