Beach nourishment projects have been undertaken on the Gold Coast since the 1960s. The aim is to increase the width of our beaches with additional sand so our coastline is more resilient to storm damage, erosion, and to ensure there's more useable beach for the community. The sand is delivered to specific locations to mimic natural coastal processes which allow sand to shift continuously in response to changing waves and water levels.
Our most recent sand nourishment project used a specialised dredge vessel to transfer sand from our offshore sand reserves and place it around the nearshore wave breaking zone.
The dredge delivered the sand by “bottom dumping” and “rainbowing”. “Bottom dumping” is where the collected sand is deposited to the wave breaking zone through the vessel hull. As the name suggests, “rainbowing” involves the sand being projected from the bow of the vessel as a sand/water mixture in a huge arc, just like a rainbow!
The image below shows where more than 3 million cubic metres of sand was strategically placed along the Gold Coast in 2017.