North Gold Coast Beach Protection Strategy (NGCBPS) including Narrowneck artificial reef

The Northern Gold Coast Beach Protection Strategy (NGCBPS) was initiated by Gold Coast City Council to provide a sustainable long-term coastal management solution for the Northern Gold Coast. The primary purpose of the project was to widen and protect the northern Gold Coast beaches from erosion in storm conditions. As this is a popular surfing area, the secondary objective was to improve the surfing amenity.

An innovative integrated sustainable strategy was developed by International Coastal Management (ICM) consisting of the following works:

  • Beach nourishment – initial 1.2m3
  • Nearshore reef to act as a coastal control point
  • Completion of boulder wall
  • Ongoing maintenance nourishment

ICM subsequently acted as Project Managers responsible for design studies, IAS [Impact Assessment Studies], final engineering design and implementation of the works using innovative large sand-filled geotextile containers. The impact studies included a cost-benefit study undertaken by Griffith Centre for Coastal Management [GCCM] and a comprehensive EMP [Environmental Management Plan] that was developed with GCCM. As part of the design studies, physical and numerical modeling was undertaken by Water Research Laboratory [University of NSW], Griffith Centre for Coastal Management and the University of Waikato. Extensive monitoring has been carried out. More details.

The strategy has successfully achieved all objectives maintaining a significantly increased storm buffer that has already been subject to a number of storm wave events (up to Hmax >13m) and improving surfing conditions. More details.

The mega sand filled geotextile containers used for construction of the reef have proved to be a safe and economical construction material. The monitoring has provided data to facilitate improvements to the geotextile materials and container design. The non-woven Terrafix geotextile has also provided an excellent substratum for a diverse range of marine vegetation and the extent and diversity of the marine habitat formed has greatly exceeded expectations. The development of this diverse marine ecosystem contributes to the environmental value of the reef structure as well as providing a new recreational dive and fishing location. More details

Papers & Reports

Executive Summary of Strategy 
Stage 1: Master Plan: Overview 
Stage 2: Impact Assesment & Design Studies: Overview 
Stage 2: Impact Assesment & Design Studies: Cost-Benefit Study for Beach Protection (Paper by Raybould & Mules, 1999) 
Stage 3: Implementation & Monitoring: Overview information sheet 
Stage 3 Implementation & Monitoring: Reef Construction - Bag Placement diagram 
Stage 3 Implementation & Monitoring: June 2004 Report by Griffith Centre for Coastal Management 
Stage 3 Implementation & Monitoring: April 2003 Report by Griffith Centre for Coastal Management 
Stage 3 Implementation & Monitoring: Reef Ecology information sheet 
Stage 3 Implementation & Monitoring: Ecology Report by National Marine Science Centre 
Stage 3 Implementation & Monitoring: Innovation stories 
Stage 3 Implementation & Monitoring: Video (ARGUS) monitoring System