Video prepared by Simon Avery and Beach Care Illawarra demonstrates the significant impact that beach restoration has had on Woonona Beach.
At some beaches this has resulted in further coastal erosion, as waves that bounce back off overgrown dunes sweep sand out to sea.
Not so at Woonona Beach, where the efforts of Beach Care Illawarra and Wollongong Council have enabled the beach to withstand the force of the ocean.
"The shape of the beach allows that energy from the swells to dissipate as it runs up the slope of the sand," said Woonona resident and Beach Care Illawarra member Michael Barnett.
The current state of Woonona Beach is a far cry from how the beach looked over a decade ago. Vegetation unsuitable for dune coverings previously grew down to the high tide mark.
Roots of plants and trees held sand in place, preventing the natural flow of sand along the beach and creating scarps along the beach, where unsecured sand would wash away, causing miniature cliffs along the beach.
This was all changed in 2014, when Council reprofiled the beach in line with the recommendations of Beach Care Illawarra.
The reshaping of the beach and removal of vegetation allowed for the beach to widen and stabilise, creating a natural ramp for waves to dissipate energy and return sand to the beach.
Similar efforts have been undertaken at Towradgi and Fairy Meadow beaches and Beach Care Illawarra has been invited to share its methodology with other beach care groups such as Beach Care Kiama.
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