Save Ocean Beach

The natural and physical resources of Ocean beach and its adjacent City Dunedin are under threat and you can help!

Today I attended the Public segment of the 6 weekly Community Development Committee's meeting, where today they were to present the "Coastal Emergency Works" Summary Report. Present were the current city councillors, mayor, other council employees & various members of the public.
I have been working this week with Tracey Crampton-Smith, [both a mayoral candidate, and candidate for a South Dunedin seat on the DCC]. The five minute presentation, which Tracey presented was intense but effective. I put together a very short video version of the erosion that has occured at Ocean Beach the last few months which was played in the first minute of the submission.
Video Below::

Below:: is the written summary page 'conclusions' that we presented based on the content of the verbal submission presented today.


Ocean Beach [St Clair, Middle & St Kilda] is an artificially positioned, highly exposed, high energy site at high risk of coastal erosion and therefore requires urgent and effective management.

1. Increased storm frequency, unpredictability and severity along with predicted sea level rise and global warming will increase enormously erosion risk at Ocean Beach in the future without practicable and effective long term management.

2. Erosion management methods based on “Hard engineering” methods such as sea walls, sand sausages and rock baskets have consistently proven to exacerbate erosion and require ongoing ratepayer funding and maintenance. Sand replenishment is both financially unsustainable and unproven as a long term solution, and therefore these methods are high risk.

3. The Dunedin City Council consultants, Dtec, have suggested it would be negligent to commit ratepayer funds to the previous design plans and that finding a new remedy should be addressed with some urgency. Council and consultants have agreed they do not have a long-term solution. In 2001 the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, recommended the application of 'soft shore' protection schemes and advised avoiding the use of 'Hard' shore protection methods such as vertical concrete walls and rock piles.

4. Alternative “soft-shore” methods of coastal erosion management based on “Natural process” (such as Holmbergs' Undercurrent Stabilisation method), have been developed and proven to provide effective management of similar sites overseas.

5. Public consultation must be actioned expediently so that a sustainable long term plan can be implemented without being preempted by the currently proposed 'holding pattern' consisting of sand stockpiling and rock baskets. However, the public should be given the opportunity to be consulted and agree on solution performance criteria.

6. Since the coastal zones affected by a solution will be fall under the jurisdiction of the Otago Regional Council and the Dunedin City Council both Councils should work jointly on this issue throughout.

7. Coastal erosion methods such as 'soft shore protection' that have a proven track record of success in managing similar sites which can stand to open transparent assessment must be given urgent and appropriate consideration.