Coastal Hazards

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Photo: Beach erosion in the 1970s removed virtually all beach sand from Bar Beach exposing the bedrock.

Coastal hazards are natural processes which expose coastal areas to certain risks such as potential property damage and environmental degradation. Coastal hazards include:

  • Beach erosion - the offshore movement of sand from the beach during a storm event
  • Shoreline recession - the landward movement of the shoreline over time due to a net loss of sand and sediment
  • Coastal lake or water course entrance stability - the tendency for entrances to close, reopen or form new openings
  • Tidal inundation - the flooding of land by tidal action under average conditions
  • Coastal inundation - Storm-related flooding of coastal lands (storm surge) and wave run-up
  • Coastal cliff or slope instability.

Managing Coastal Hazards

The Newcastle Coastal Zone Management Plan 2018 prescribes the short and medium term actions to manage identified coastal hazards. With two distinct coastal environments, the Newcastle Coastal Zone Management Plan 2018 has two parts: Part A - Stockton and Part B - Coastline South of the Harbour.

You can read more about the work we have completed to manage the beach erosion on Stockton Beach as part of the Stockton Coastal Management Plan and work that is underway on the Southern Beaches Coastal Management Plan.

Coastal Hazards and Development Assessment

The NSW Coastal Planning Guideline: Adapting to Sea Level Rise provides guidance on how sea level rise and its impacts, including coastal erosion and flooding, are to be considered in land use planning and development assessment in NSW.

The City of Newcastle has adopted the projected erosion hazard lines for Stockton for up to 2120 (present day, 2040, 2060 and 2120) as identified in the Stockton Beach Coastal Processes Study. These hazard lines are considered during development assessment.

Dr David Wainwright explains coastal structures, sand nourishment and sand movement

Learn more about Coastal Management by watching these short videos with Dr David Wainwright, Coastal Engineer and Conjoint Lecturer at the University of Newcastle.

  1. Coastal structures (2mins 50secs) such as groynes, breakwalls and seawalls can all impact sand movement.
  2. Sand nourishment (2mins 38secs) is when you take sand from somewhere else and import it to give you a sandy beach for recreation or to provide more protection during erosion events.
  3. Sand movement (1min 29 secs) along the NSW Coast is mostly from south to north with both natural and artifical obstacles affecting the movement of sand.