Beach 'gone to waste'
MORE than 20 years of strong regrowth and dune replenishment was washed away this week after months of wild weather on the Fingal beach front.
Dune Care Fingal Head foundation member Ian “Bunny” Rabbitts said high tides in the last four days removed 20m of sand from the dunes to the water.
The massive erosion has also caused the emergence of a near 10-foot drop from the top of the dunes to the sand below which has alarmed Mr Rabbitts.
“It was like this around 1984, it was only starting to get back to the way it once was and then this happens,” Mr Rabbitts said.
“It's all gone to waste in the past four days.”
The beach erosion has also begun to swallow up native trees which were planted by Mr Rabbitts and other Dune Care members 10 years ago.
Several Casuarina and Pandana trees were the first victims, swallowed up by the 10-foot drop two nights ago.
Mr Rabbitts began planting the native plants on the Crown land 10 years ago with the help of his Dune Care group.
“It's a shame this has begun to happen. It has made a big mess,” Mr Rabbitts said.
“Unfortunately there is nothing anyone can do unless if we start whipping the sea with chains. It worked in Greek mythology.”
“If only there was a way to get the sand from Kirra and bring it back here.”
High tides the past two days have pounded the coastline even further.
Mr Rabbitts expects it to continue for the next two days before finally calming down.
“Hopefully there is not much further damage,” he said.
Mr Rabbitts closed off a 4WD entrance to the beach the other day and is warning beach goers to be careful.
“It's a common access to the beach for surfers so they should be careful because it just drops off,” he said.
His wife, Fran said it was tragic to see the sand wash away.
“It's really upsetting to see this happen,” Mrs Rabbitts said.
“There used to be a gradual sand slope which was 20 metres from the dunes to the water. It just disappeared.”
Mr Rabbitts said beaches along Pottsville and Hastings Point were experiencing the same problems.
Another dune was just beginning to form on the beach just before the wild weather hit according to the Dune Care member.