Project Description

Nelly_BayNelly Bay is located on the south-eastern shores of Magnetic Island, some 8kms offshore of Townsville – the largest city in North Queensland.

Townsville City Council commissioned Coastal Engineering Solutions to prepare a Shoreline Erosion Management Plan for the area.

The prevailing coastal processes in Nelly Bay result in a north-to-south transport of sand along the foreshore. Historically sand was supplied from Gustav Creek to the northern-most end of this coastal reach.

However construction of Nelly Bay Harbour resulted in significant changes to this natural supply of sand. Gustav Creek now discharges into the sheltered waters of the harbour.

The longshore transport mechanisms in Nelly Bay still move sand along the beach at the same rate as previously. However because of the diminished natural sand supply from Gustav Creek, the longshore sand transport rates are greater than the rate at which sand is now being supplied.

Consequently Nelly Bay Beach has been steadily eroding – and is particularly vulnerable during the storms of the north Queensland wet season. This erosion was threatening essential infrastructure and adversely affecting social and environmental values.

Beach nourishment, sand back-passing and training of a tidal flow channel at the northern end of the beach have emerged as the SEMP’s recommended overall strategy for mitigating the erosion threat to the foreshore of Nelly Bay Beach.