Question: Many people dream of building their home on the Australian Coastline with its picturesque vistas of the setting sun and the gentle sounds of waves breaking. However, these waves are not always so gentle! Coastal erosion is a significant problem for many coastal communities. How do you recommend we solve this?

Keywords: , ,

  1. So we had a long discussion in the chats yesterday on this and my answers were unpopular. They haven’t changed.
    Coastal erosion and deposition are part of the natural cycle. It is likely that erosion will increase due to climate change. rising sea levels and increased storms will increase erosion.
    The only solution is not to build in vulnerable areas. Many councils have already implemented this in their planning schemes. For people who live in houses at risk, the choices are hard. Very soon (or already) they will not be able to insure their property. The value of their property will diminish as less people will be willing to purchase properties at risk. I have friends who have accepted this, continue to live in their beachfront property bt invested in property elsewhere for later on. Who covers the cost of removal is unclear should they wish to vacate the site.


  2. It’s unfortunate, but I agree with Simon (I mean, he is the coastal expert). We have to live the fact that our environment is dynamic and ever-changing. Unfortunately we are speeding up the rate of some of these changes through our polluting ways. We can’t just build dikes around the whole country (like the Dutch –, because this will alter the natural processes of coastal erosion and deposition.

    We just have to live with the fact that we can’t live wherever we want, whenever we want. It’s an unpopular point of view, but this is life. It ain’t easy 🙂


  3. Humans seem to think that we can ‘control’ nature. But this is not the case. We can maybe slow the process of erosion down by building big storm walls, creating artificial reefs, reinforcing the coastal cliffs or maybe planting mangroves (depending on where in the world you live) but eventually nature will get its way and our nice coastal houses will fall into the sea! The best thing to do is to not build a house so close to the lands edge in the first place.
    …and like Simon says invest in property elsewhere so that when the inevitable does happen you have somewhere to live!


  4. I completely agree with Simon and the other scientist.

    We have to stop building in areas that are at risk. this also applies to flood effective areas, the government should allocated this areas as park lands, or specify that houses need to be built on stilts so the flood waters don’t effect them.