Project Summary

Sand renourishment of the dunes and upper beach at Cowes Main Beach, between the Cowes Jetty and Mussell Rocks. The proposed works include:

  • Sand will be sourced from a borrow site near the Cowes Boat Ramp and trucked to the Cowes Main Beach.
  • Trucks and excavators will be used to move the sand and place it in the dune and upper beach area.

These maintenance works are in response to wave erosion that has occurred at the site over several years. The resultant loss of sand from the beach, has placed important public infrastructure and assets at risk. These assets include the grassed embankment, beach access structures and the sandy beach.

In 2018 Council commissioned Water Technology to undertake a coastal processes analysis of the Cowes Main Beach to determine the best approach for mitigating erosion (see attached Coastal Erosion Management Options: Cowes Main Beach Foreshore Reserve, Water Technology, April 2018). The proposed renourishment works delivers on the recommendations of this report.

Sand renourishment works were initially conducted in 2019 at the eastern section of the beach. In 2020, planting indigenous plant species was conducted in order to stabilize the sand dune and protect the embankment. Works were also undertaken minimise erosion caused by pedestrian access. This included the construction of a second set of timber stairs and fencing. Together, these works have achieved some important improvements (see images below).

The upcoming renourishment work will focus predominantly on the western section of the beach, with some minor maintenance of the eastern area also to be conducted.

The Cowes Boat Ramp has been identified as a suitable site for the supply of sand for the renourishment works. Due to the current boat ramp upgrade project, a significant quantity of sand has accumulated at the construction site. This sand will soon require disposal. So utilising it to renourish the Cowes Main Beach results in financial efficiencies.

The sand renourishment woks will be commence in the week of Monday 4 September and will take around 5 to 7 days, subject to suitable tides.

Works will involve trucking sand from the Cowes (Anderson Road) Boat Ramp via road, and accessing the beach via the Cowes Jetty Triangle. The sand will then be spread across the beach using excavators.

Trucks will access the Jetty Triangle via Bass Avenue in order to ensure that movement down Thompson Avenue is avoided. Works will involve the movement of approximately three trucks per hour, (21 trucks per day) passing through the Jetty Triangle.

There may be some inconvenience to beach users at the time, especially at the beach access ramp located west of the Cowes Jetty. But works have been programmed during a time of the year where public use is near it’s lowest, so disruptions will be relatively minimal.

The cost of the sand renourishment is $67,197.50.

The project is fully funded by grant funding from the Australian Government.

Cowes Main Beach Photo from 2019

Cowes Main Beach

Cowes Main Beach during sand renourishment works in November 2019.