Coastal Erosion at Stockton

Stockton is built on a long sandy beach. Beaches naturally move - not only landward and seaward but sand also flows like a river to the north. It is estimated that approximately 146,000m3 of sand naturally moves north from Stockton Beach along the Stockton Bight each year – that's the equivalent of about 58 Olympic swimming pools full of sand.

The Newcastle Harbour break waters and navigational channel effectively block new sand moving from Nobbys Beach to Stockton. With no sand coming in, and the waves moving sand north, it means that Stockton Beach suffers erosion. The Stockton Bight Sand Movement Study 2020 (PDF) provides an understanding of the rates and directions of sand movement.

Coastal protection works and repairs, dune revegetation and maintenance have been undertaken at Stockton Beach over many years. Numerous seawalls have been constructed to help protect Stockton Beach from erosion:

  • A rock seawall at Mitchell Street was constructed in 1989, this was extended to the north using rock bags in 2022.
  • A sandbag seawall at the Surf Life Saving Club was constructed in 1996. Maintenance was undertaken on this seawall in 2010 and it was converted to a rock seawall in 2017.
  • A 100m sand bag seawall was constructed by Hunter Water to protect their land in 2019.