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MEDIA RELEASE - Council welcomes coastal erosion expert for cross-border forum

6 November 2017

Dr Kerry Black with workshop attendees

World renowned oceanographer Dr Kerry Black has warned we must act to protect our coastline from the growing threat of climate change.

Glenelg Shire Council played host to the coastal erosion expert today as part of a forum to discuss coastal management trends and issues with representatives from across south west Victoria and south east South Australia.

The one hour session focused on global strategies to protect beaches from erosion including a detailed focus on regenerating Dutton Way and the Port of Portland.

Dr Black identified specific measures to help ensure the region’s famous coastlines continued to remain world class attractions.

“At Portland, it will be necessary in the longer term to re-align the beach orientations, particularly at Dutton Way” he said.

“This can be achieved with groynes (a barrier built out at sea) or offshore reefs. The existing seawalls are not helping to realign the beach orientation and are not preventing erosion; they are just protecting the land.

“The best form of coastal protection is the beach itself and we need to ensure that a collaborative approach is taken, taking into consideration our counterparts in South Australia and coastlines past Warrnambool.”

Dr Black also touched on longer term issues such as climate change and how rising sea temperatures are affecting our local shorelines.

He stressed the need for urgent and lasting change to not only protect our coastlines from devastation, but to also ensure our local economies can continue to grow and thrive, looking particularly to the long term impact on the Port of Portland’s operations.

Dr Black boasts more than 40 years of scientific research and leadership and currently resides in Lombok, Indonesia.

Most recently Dr Black has been involved in reducing the impact of coastal erosion along some of India’s most populated beaches, which can swell to over two million visitors on a given day.

A video of Dr Black’s coastal erosion presentation can be accessed upon request.

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