I feel like my mind has been pulled, poked and pushed in recent weeks. What to think, how to act and even control myself from not screaming and quite possibly shattering my coastal career in a professional sense. Luckily, I’ve been busy – super busy – working hard on a cool national coastal outreach plan (so what this space). Though, today has brought this tangent to mind, and simply as the title states, “can we fix paradise?”
The first part of this tangent is about the choice of words to describe a coastal management action. Stating that we can fix an issue is partially the overall problem as I don’t believe we can fix the coast nor should intend to do so. Coastal management is about finding a balance between the land and sea interface (amongst much more). Though, nevertheless, I think we need to be careful about the choice of language we use to ensure public perception of coastal management is not damaged or even more so, lost in translation to the point that no one stands up anymore.
The second part allows you think for yourself through the series of photos below. Yep, the bulldozers are back on the dunes, trucks along the beach and now sand bags in hope of holding up Gold Coast’s glitter strip’s reputation – before the king tides next week, which could quite possibly wash away today’s efforts, and the need to uphold Surfers Paradise as a destination for the upcoming school holidays (we can’t let those Southerners down!).
To me, today’s $800,000 worth of efforts show that we still have the mentality of managing the coast like a sand pit and do not see the benefit of community engagement (did you receive a phone call or a knock at your door) – see my tangent from March. Though don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for most of the actions this time round. But hey, bite size responses that aim to protect unsustainable management ain’t going to achieve a balanced system.
Once again, I’m a little mouse on a treadmill going know where… enjoy the photos and let me know what you think.
The sand stockpile pit at the northern end of The Spit, which is three football fields in size and was once covered with coastal vegetation. The dredged sand from the Broadwater is being stock piled here and then trucked to where it is needed most – the Surfers Paradise Foreshore development is the drawcard for coastal restoration at the moment.
'Another sand stock pile zone’ in the foredunes
Sand bags placed along the foreshore – this photo highlights the lack the integration between coastal engineering and dune management. The boxed in dune has limited the capacity for the beach to build up in a more natural sense
Isn’t this photo ironic – this photo says it all!