Shellharbour City Council hopes the Shellharbour foreshore master plan will help Warilla Beach over the line in the battle to be named NSW’s most environmentally friendly beach.
Warilla Beach is one of 32 beaches in the running for the Keep Australia Beautiful Clean Beach award, with assessor Colin Besley of Sydney Water casting his eye over the beach yesterday.
Warilla Beach is in the running for dune habitat and restoration works.
With the beach identified as vulnerable to coastal erosion, work to protect and stabilise the dunes began as part of the master plan in 2009.
Council officers, volunteers and students have since planted thousands of native plants and removed weeds to enhance the dune ecosystem and improve local biodiversity.
More than 780 hours of bush regeneration work has been undertaken so far this year.
The northern stretch of Warilla Beach adjoins the entrance channel to Lake Illawarra and is considered the most vulnerable to long-term erosion in the Shellharbour area.
Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said Warilla Beach was known for its clean water.
Cr Saliba said at this stage there was no intention for Shellharbour council to follow Wollongong City Council’s lead in regards to a dune management strategy, which is Wollongong council’s response to concerns about scarping and reduced sight lines for lifesavers and lifeguards.
‘‘There are some issues that have been raised with me in regards to access but what we do have seems to be in good condition at the moment and is stopping the deterioration of our beaches and dunes.’’