Beach needs more than tinkering at the edges
I refer to Kristine Martins letter (Peninsula News, February 12) regarding the Ocean Beach erosion and her criticism of my views as to what we should be implementing to recover our public spaces from coastal erosion.
With the greatest respect to those who give their time through Dune Care groups, those efforts between Ettalong Point and the Ocean Beach Surf Club have been largely wasted.
Mother nature cares little about revegetation and when she wants to move sand around, she'll take the vegetation with it.
Sadly this section of the beachfront has been overgrown with bitou bush, lantana and asparagus fern for years and has been a constant eyesore.
There is not a day that doesn't go by where ordinary people comment to me on how embarrassing the beachfront is and how they wish it could be improved to the wonderful standard of Ettalong Beach.
Sure, the Ettalong Beach foreshore and Ocean Beach are topographically different but clearly the dune restoration practices of the past have utterly failed one of our best tourist assets.
It's time to stop tinkering around the edges and take a completely new approach to upgrading the Ocean Beach foreshore.
This inevitably means linking the dredging of the Ettalong Beach channel to the beach renourishment and ensuring that this operation happens annually.
It also means widening and upgrading the pedestrian footpath, constructing a storm hazard wall and providing viewing platforms so that everyone can enjoy our wonderful beachfront.
My views are shared by thousands of others.
The Ettalong Beach foreshore upgrade has created a huge economic benefit to the Ettalong Beach town centre.
As Chamber president, I want the same benefits to flow on to the Umina town centre through the upgrading of the Ocean Beach beachfront.
Enough with the studies. Enough with the research. Enough with the blame shifting.
Let's get on with the job and get our beach back.
Email, 20 Feb 2018
Matthew Wales, Umina