We're lucky to have some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in New Zealand, if not the world, on the Coromandel Peninsula. Our beaches are one of the major reasons for people coming to visit and live here. But keeping them in such magnificent condition comes at a cost, given the effects of climate change, storm events and other natural processes. In 2018, our Council adopted the Coastal Management Strategy, which sets out a range of initiatives we will be taking over the coming years to better manage our coastal assets and understand the risk of coastal inundation and coastal erosion. The 2018-2028 Long Term Plan includes $2.6 million over three years to help us implement this strategy. You can read more about our Coastal Management Strategy below. Further Information Coastal Erosion Action Plan - Mercury Bay Coastal Erosion Areas - Mercury Bay Coastal Erosion Areas and Action Plan - Tairua, Pauanui and Whangamata Coastal Management Methods Coastal Managment Timeline Shoreline Management Plans Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) are being developed to outline how each stretch of shoreline is most likely to be managed to address flood and/or erosion. What is a Shoreline Management Plan? A Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) provides a large-scale assessment of the risks associated with coastal evolution and presents a framework to address these risks to people and the developed, historic and natural environment in a sustainable manner. In doing so, an SMP is a high-level document that forms an important part of our Council's Coastal Management Strategy. Coastal sediment movements occur within distinct boundaries, or cells, which rarely coincide with administrative boundaries. Piecemeal coast protection schemes may not always be compatible with coastline needs elsewhere within the same sediment cell. Recognising this fact, our Council decided to produce an integrated coastal 'defence' strategy or SMP wherein all the conflicting needs and constraints on the coastline are identified and considered. A SMP policy describes how our stretch of shoreline is most likely to be managed to address flood and/or erosion,subject to conditions described below: No active intervention Hold the (existing defence) line Managed re-alignment (retreat) Advance the line The objectives of an SMP are: To define, in general terms, the flooding and erosion risks to people and the developed, historic and natural environment within the SMP area over the next century; To identify the preferred framework for managing those risks; To identify the consequences of implementing the preferred framework; To set out procedures for monitoring the effectiveness of the SMP; To inform planners, developers and others of the risks identified within the SMP and preferred SMP framework when considering future development of the shoreline and land use changes; To comply with international and national nature conservation legislation and biodiversity obligations; To highlight areas where knowledge gaps exist; and, To provide an action plan to facilitate implementation of the SMP “policies” and monitor progress. Currently, we are in the process of procuring internal and external resources to kick-off our journey towards a resilient community. Data is being collated and analysed and a steering group has been established in partnership with Waikato Regional Council and in liaison with Hauraki District Council. Over the years many investigative reports and surveys have been completed on which we want to build, i.e. we don't want to reinvent the wheel, making best use of the resources available. The detailed holistic hazard and risk assessments will commence in earnest within the next two months for our three-year project. Coastal project updates: We’ve been underway with several high-priority, reactive coastal projects over the last few months of 2018. Brief updates on these are provided below. • Thornton and Ngarimu BaysThe Thornton and Ngarimu Bay coastlines, damaged by erosion during the January 2018 storm, have been re-instated using sand push-ups from the beach. We are working with NZTA to explore ideas for the longevity of the Thames Coast Road in this area, and there is community interest in Thornton for improving the carpark and surrounding area ahead of this summer. We will continue to engage with community groups with a view to finding a mutually-acceptable solution. • Thames Town CoastlineDamage occurred along our Shortland Wharf to Moanataiari walkway has been re-instated. Thames is one of the strategic locations in our District that would benefit greatly from Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) along a 'Dynamic Adaptive Pathway Planning (DAPP) action plan. • TararuRecovery from the January storm continues in this community. Works have been completed at Wilson St and are planned for Robert St to re-instate coastline damage from the storm. We have worked with the Tararu South Flood Protection Group to facilitate the repair between the two streets which has now been completed. We continue to meet with the community as part of the SMP development. The Group is very active and has been for about 20 years, and is currently fund-raising for proposed rock revetment works on their private frontage. It is a fantastic example of how the local communit, in liaison with our Council, is on the 'journey to become a resilient community' from coastal hazards. • Flaxmill Bay and Cooks BeachA combination of king tides and an extreme weather event in July caused significant erosion at Flaxmill Bay and Cooks Beach. Appropriate coastal protection management structures, hard and soft engineering options, are being considered. Environmental changes have raised the community’s awareness of the need for careful management of the coastline, and in particular our foreshore, a series of public drop-in meetings and workshops have been held to share information with residents. November-December 2018: Our coastal engineer discussed options to curb beach erosion at Flaxmill Bay with approximately 40 Mercury Bay south residents. Jan told the meeting that TCDC had already lodged a resource consent application with Waikato Regional Council for a rock wall that will transition to a backstop wall and, ultimately, into a soft option (dune plantings) to curb the erosion. Our Council will also be lodging an application for a trial groyne to be constructed at Flaxmill Bay, with the exact location and material to be determined. All going to plan, construction of the rock wall/backstop wall and the groyne should start by early 2019. November 2018 - an aerial survey was undertaken of the Thames Coast to help in management of this shoreline. We engaged a contractor to undertake drone photography in this area, using Council reserves for taking off and landing. The contractor was required to comply with all Civil Aviation Authority rules and has completed the work. Further aerial surveys for other coastlines is likely to be carried out during 2019. June 2018: Our Council adopted its Coastal Management Strategy. You can find out more about this here We spend a great deal of time and effort looking at how we can preserve our coastline. The aim is to always look towards long-term solutions for protecting our beaches, preserving beach amenity and working with landowners with properties affected by coastal erosion. In the past few years we've been developing Coastal Erosion Programmes and Action Plans for different areas around the Coromandel. In May 2016 the Mercury Bay Community Board endorsed a Coastal Erosion Programme for the entire Mercury Bay. This work expands on a Coastal Management Action Plan, which was developed in 2012 and was only focused on Whitianga. Similar Coastal Management Plans for Tairua-Pauanui and Whangamata have been developed in conjunction with community organisations, iwi, district and regional council staff and elected members. These plans will guide short, medium and long-term coastal management in these two community board areas. Meanwhile there will continue to be on-going district-wide consultation and communication with our community, elected representatives and key stakeholders. As part of the activity, key reports will also be updated in light of latest scientific data on the coastal dynamics of Buffalo Beach, social and economic factors, climate change projections and tsunami modelling. Analysis will continue to be undertaken which will consider existing and proposed strategies such as the Coromandel Peninsula Blueprint Project, WRC harbour and catchment management planning and the spatial marine plan for the Hauraki Gulf.