Saturday, December 6, 2008

What are the consequences of the extra erosion?

The simple answer is I'm not sure, that’s why this project was set up. Maybe with more observation the causes and consequences can be better understood. Here are a few likely short term issues

1) Because the lower part of the beach profile is flatter and lower -

1.1 Shell beds are exposed and partly eroded in many areas, so it is likely that the shell population will be reduced this season (eg the gatherers of pippis might find they are scarcer)

1.2 There may be more sandbar development early in the season (rather than mainly in late summer autumn). This could lead to significant changes and shifting of gutters and rips

1.3 Near shore current may be variable, even on a daily basis, as the sand shifts. The gutters may be deeper or even dissapera or rips suddenly become stronger (as more water empties from a broader beach) and potentially more dangerous.

2) Because the summer berm is limited or not developed at all -

2.1 Shore bird nesting habit could be significantly reduced (eg hooded plovers)

2.2 Less dry sand will be available to repair erosion and/or build new dunes

This pair of hooded plovers are attempting to nest south of beach one. One set of scratching (nest preparation) has already been washed away in early November. They now have now approximately 100m of sumer berm developing in their prefered nesting site, which is encouraging. It is roped with a sign at the northern end to try to discourage humans (and more particulalry their dogs) blundering across their nest. The Easters Hooded Plover are considered vunerable, because of low breeding success.

Help Save our hooded plovers

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