Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Type of Project: Multi-Purpose Reef
Client: Gold Coast City Council
Clockwise from upper left: The Narrowneck Reef, evidence of shoreline response in December 2000, images from some good surfing days and an obvious salient in June 2003.
The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s greatest tourist destinations, with the wide sandy beaches a big part of the attraction. The erosion problem along the Gold Coast was most evident at Narrowneck, where only a thin strip of sand separated the lagoon from the sea. This barrier island had been breached several times in the previous century and coastal protection was proposed as part of the Gold Coast Beach Protection Strategy to address this problem.
Traditional coastal protection methods were considered (e.g. groynes, rock riprap, etc.). However, a socio-economic assessment found that for every dollar spent on enhancing the beach, $60-80 was returned via tourism. Consequently, an offshore submerged reef was proposed and design works were undertaken by ASR Ltd. The resulting final design was a large submerged reef. The main purpose of the Narrowneck reef was to retain sand nourishment material that was pumped onto the beach. The results of extensive studies have shown that the reef is effective in dissipating wave energy and that the Narrowneck reef has become an erosion control point along this section of the coast.« Download Project PDF