Forget Surfers Paradise, I’m renaming it to Dune Paradise.
I remember sitting next to a head honcho at a coastal management conference a few years ago who made a broad statement that “the Gold Coast didn’t have dunes”. It was then and there I realised, size does really matter. Narrow, wide, high or low, to them the narrow green fringe along Gold Coast’s golden shores didn’t even exist. I was shocked, but soon stunned them about Gold Coast’s dunes – and more.
Since then, I have been driving more and more action and dropping the dune word at every opportunity – ’cause there are dunes on the Gold Coast and they come in many shapes and forms. Technically mapped per cell (fenced area) and listed as natural, urban or high-use, Gold Coast’s dunes are one of (or the) most important landscape to protect. Without dunes there would be no beach, and there goes our lifestyle. It’s as simple as that.
Fortunately more and more people are recognising such importance and I must add, acting on such importance too. So, this tangent leads us to rename Surfers Paradise as Dune Paradise, thanks to a small community action group called, ‘Surfers Beachfront Protection Association’, who are now active custodians of their paradise.
The story goes something like this – they contacted me a few years ago with concerns about the protection of the dunes in Surfers Paradise. At that time the Gold Coast Oceanway was being mapped along a narrow section, which in my opinion would reduce dune resilience and connectivity. Plus, I believe no native vegetation should be removed from dunes and replaced with concrete and grass (no wonder the head honcho didn’t think the Gold Coast had dunes).
Nevertheless, I don’t think either of us knew that a coastal management information night would take us on a journey.
And the journey has only really begun! As of last weekend, Surfers’ dunes are being blitzed with help from BeachCare. I was fortunate enough to attend as a volunteer and lend a hand pulling out a few weeds. It surely was a surreal experience. There we were, a collection of hands planting native dune plants and removing weeds with skyscrapers skyrocketing in our shadows.
Congratulations to those care, more action means more care for our dunes.