Management of Wanda and Summerleaze Beach Reflective Essay

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Cronulla Beach, NSW

Wanda Beach is the northmost patrolled beach located along the Bate Bay coastline in Cronulla, New South Wales, Australia. Wanda beach occupies a 1.5km long central section of the beach, extending south from the northern end of the Wanda Reserve. The latitude of Wanda Beach is 34.0424° S and longitude is 151.1632° E. The aerial shot of Wanda displays the distance of the surf beach, with Greenhills located north and Elouera to the south. The major attraction of the Sutherland shire is for swimming, surfing, fishing, and other recreational sports.

Natural features of Wanda Beach, Cronulla:

The natural features of Wanda Beach include; sand dunes, dune vegetation and wave-cut platforms. Sand deposited on the beach is blown inland by onshore winds to form sand dunes, with the force of constructive waves pushing the dunes to higher surfaces. Sand dunes are a depositional landform that changes in form and appearance as they move inland protecting areas from damage due to storms. Sand dunes also act as habitats for a variety of plants and animals, maintaining a high level of biodiversity in the area. Sand along with rocks, broken shells and other marine debris become transient sediment moving within the coastal zone through the action of waves, tides, winds, and current. Plants that grow on beaches and dunes are known as dune vegetation. Coastal vegetation is evident at Wanda Beach. The coastal vegetation acts as a windbreak, trapping deposited sand particles and stabilizing the dune system. Without the process of vegetation, the natural protective barrier would be negatively impacted by wind and wave erosion. When the dunes are stabilized by salt and wind-resistant vegetation they become semi-permanent landforms. A wave-cut platform is a narrow and flat area located at the base of a sea cliff or shoreline of a lake, bay or sea that was developed due to erosion. The shore platform is displayed in the main location of Cronulla beach as a result of abrasion, corrosion and hydraulic action. Wave- cut platforms are dependent on rock structure and type. Rocks such as granite are resistant to abrasion which prevents platform formation.

Biophysical processes of Wanda Beach, Cronulla:

There are a variety of biophysical processes that contribute to maintaining the functioning of the environment. These include; erosion, deposition, transportation and wave type. Erosion is the group of natural processes in which sand and rock are removed by natural agents such as wind and water. The two main types of erosion evident at Wanda include; Hydraulic power and abrasion. Hydraulic power is the sheer power of water smashing against the cliff causing it to crumble and abrasion is when rocks in the water interact with the cliff wearing it away. The coastal deposition is the deposit of eroded material in a new place by natural processes such as wind, rivers, and seas which mainly occur on sandy beaches. The transportation of the material is dropped by constructive waves through a deposition, mainly occurring when the swash is stronger than the backwash. In Wanda beach, large sand dunes have been deposited over time as sand has been accumulated. Transportation is the movement of material in the sea and along the coast by waves and longshore drift. Longshore drift is present at Wanda as the transportation of sediments along the coast are parallel to the shoreline. The combination of the three biophysical processes works efficiently to maintain ecosystem functioning, enabling the coastal environment to change over time.

Wanda beach is usually a calm beach with low and restricted waves, referred to as constructive waves. The low- impact constructive waves lead to the build-up of the beach, with a more effective swash compared to a weak backwash. This type of wave mainly occurs in calmer weather and in the season of summer. However, during harsh conditions such as storms and heavy rain, destructive waves are formed, which removes the sediment from the shore with a strong backwash.

Human impacts on Wanda Beach and Summerleaze Beach:

Summerleaze is located in Bude at the North of Cornwallis Atlantic Coast, UK and is a popular sandy and surf stretch featuring a seawater rock pool, beach huts and cafes. The sand beach is located within walking distance of Bude town, with an increasing population of tourists each year. The latitude of Summerleaze Beach is 50.8305° N and longitude is 4.5513° W.

In Bude, the greatest changes to the coastal landforms have been caused by human activities. The anthropogenic impacts affecting the coastline of summerleaze beach include; tourism and recreation, climate change (rising sea levels) and urbanisation. Tourism is the main reason for coastal transformations in Cornwall. The human actions such as; littering, motorbike riding, cars and bikes, fires or trampling can damage the dune system and increase the severity of erosion. Climate change is any major long-term change in the expected patterns of average weather. Climate change has caused rising sea levels which have drastically altered the environment of Summerleaze. The increase of storms due to warmer weather have led to erosion with the natural components of strong and destructive wind. Urbanization is the demand of greater space for developments which leave coastal environments under stress. Urbanisation is displayed In the strip of Summerleaze as temporary beach huts have been built flattening and eroding the natural dune system.

Wanda Breach consists of similar anthropogenic impacts that influence the coastal buffer zone. These include the process of climate change, pollution, urbanization, and tourism. The weather is increasing by 1–2 °C each year affecting the coastal landforms. Anthropogenic impacts on global warming such as increase of CO2 and burning of fossil fuels are leading to rising sea levels (high tide), changes in the frequency of storms, an increase in precipitation and warmer ocean temperatures. The impact of global warming is generated by the developed countries and affecting the developing countries such as Kiribati. Pollution occurs when harmful substances such as plastic rubbish are added in the environment which affects the natural composition. In Wanda, the rough conditions of rain and storms collect rubbish from the streets and gardens transmitting it into the drains and eventually into the seawater. The pollution and build-up of toxins that are carried can poison plants, fish and other animals. Intertidal wetlands and coastal dunes are often destroyed to accommodate residential, tourism and other commercial needs. Coastal construction work and certain agriculture practices can affect marine life, lead to soil erosion and freshwater pollution. An example of urbanisation in Wanda is the surf club located near the coastline. With the similarity of Summerleaze, tourism and people that trample and destroy the vegetation on the beach are allowing the dunes to easily be eroded by waves.

Factors that influence management responses in Australia and Bude:

Wanda Beach is a part of the Sutherland Shire Council which is in charge of implementing strategies to protect their coastlines. Different factors that influence their responses include; different levels of government (federal, state and local), environmental or interest groups (ie bushcare group) and public opinions. In Australia, most decision making around coastal management occurs at a local level. The local government enforces restrictions and educates individuals to limit the erosion in Cronulla. The Bushcare group is an organisation that consists of volunteers run by the Sutherland Shire Council. The organisation aims to protect the natural flora and fauna in Cronulla increasing the stability of sand dunes. The local citizens of Wanda should be aware and informed of the eroded dunes and report to the council for further management.

In Summerleaze, the local citizens rely on the beach to maintain a strong economy. The significant factors that influence the management responses include; public agreement, knowledge and understanding of the land and collaborative management plans. Cornwall Council manages the beach while a Head Ranger and a contractor look after the site that includes the beach, dunes, access points and wider open spaces of the area.

Effective Management responses to Australia and Bude:

The buffer zone of Wanda has many noticeable and unnoticeable management strategies put in place. The Sutherland Shire Council has implemented a variety of management strategies to protect the coast. These include; fences, sea walls and signs. Fencing is a soft engineering management approach that is vital for protecting sand dunes. Soft engineering is a natural solution that is less expensive and causes less damage to the environment. Fencing and boardwalks has restricted and closed of entry to the sand dunes, making sure tourists and local citizens do not climb or walk on the dunes which will further erode them. A sea wall is the most effective hard engineering form of coastal defence from erosion. In Cronulla, the first seawall costing 1.7 million dollar was built on a slant made of tyre like shapes to soak up the strong swash of water. Signs are a soft engineering management strategy displaying the rules and regulations of the beach. The signs advise the members of the community not to bring cars, dogs or camp on the beach as they can all lead to erosion.

Summerleaze has many effective management responses put in place to ensure the stability of the beach strip. The management responses include; replacing invasive plants and the production of gabions on the coastline. The process of replacing invasive plants such as herbs and shrubs with living organisms native to Cornwall Uk, prevents erosion of the dune system, allowing the beach to be replenished. A gabion is a cage, cylinder or box filled with rocks or concrete to control the impact of erosion. At Summerleaze there a number of gabions forming a defensive wall alongside the right bank of the River Neet which is used to manage slope stability and protect developments from erosion.

Successful Management strategies of Wanda and Summerleaze Beach:

The Sutherland Shire Council in Cronulla has implemented a variety of management strategies the most effective one being the seawall. The seawall has successfully decreased the process of erosion. Sewalls are generally expensive to construct and require suitable design planning and construction supervision. The formation of the seawall has been successful by reflecting wave energy back into the sea while reducing the energy to cause erosion. The upgraded seawall in Cronulla constructed in 2009, cost $4.36 million to build with a price of $1 million to repair in the future. Although it is expensive, the man made seawall has definitely been the predominant strategy to prevent erosion in the Shire.

The Cornwall council has responded to the changes of the beach with the multiple successful management strategies. The most effective being the introduction of the gabion walls to the Bude community. The long term solution of gabions are an ideal option for decreasing river erosion and rising sea levels. The hard engineering management is manufactured in a way that can not be destroyed or collapse.

Future Plans of the coastal environments:

The future plans of Wanda Beach, is managed by the State Government. The government plan is to continue the management of the beach by implementing new techniques and enhancing previous strategies such as the seawall to protect the coastline in the future. The decision to protect Wanda beach is influenced by the housing and shopping developments around the coastline that may be negatively impacted if destroyed. The natural sand dunes in Cronulla are 15,000 years old and up to 44 metres high with a future development to commenced. The high investment enforced to protect the future of Cronulla is beneficial and worthwhile due to the tourism. Cronulla beach is 200m long with a population of 18, 070 people which benefits the buffer zone through the spread of income from travelling tourists. Summerleaze beach is similar to Wanda, with the tourists regulating the economic growth and affordability to accurately manage the coastline. To ensure this, they will study further into the geographical state of the north and south peninsula, continuously monitoring the coastal transformations over time.


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Management of Wanda and Summerleaze Beach Reflective Essay. (2020, Sep 17). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/management-of-wanda-and-summerleaze-beach/

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