Sunday, 25 September 2011

Aramoana Paddle Out - October 16th at 12 noon


This 'Surfer Paddle Out' on the 16th of October 2011 at Dunedins' Aramoana, Whareakeake and Karitane surf breaks. This is also a national event, organised by Surfbreak Protection Society. where there will also be simultaneous paddle outs being held that day at many of the other 26 protected surf breaks the length and breadth of New Zealand, as well as popular surf breaks in city areas.

This Paddle Out event demonstrates the national groundswell of concerned surf break users, and our desires to have these natural coastal features protected from developments and activities that continue to threaten their existence, despite legal protection policies. Once they are destroyed they are gone forever, and in this era of declining natural resources and threats to our pristine landscapes and seascapes, these surf breaks face equivalent pressures for their futures.

Surf breaks are rare and delicate coastal features which are often close to coastal developments that threaten their very existence. Just last year 26 surf breaks of national significance were protected by law under Policy 16 of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010. Of these protected, only 5 are in the South Island, three of which are within Dunedin City boundaries, being Karitane, Whareakeake and Aramoana.
Aramoana, also known as 'The Spit' is a world class beach break of exceptional quality due to its clean offset peaks and barreling pits held in a variety of swell sizes and directions. It is also one of the only offshore breaks in the prevailing southerly winds around Dunedin.

Dumping of spoil in the swell corridor of the Aramoana/Spit surf break from harbour dredging by Port of Otago has been affecting the delicate bathymetric conditions that contribute to the high class surfbale wave since 1985. Surfers and bodyboarders have noted a gradual deterioration of wave quality over the years, especially of late, and fear that continued dumping of dredged spoil may cause irreversible adverse effects on the wave quality.

A recent resource consent application by Port of Otago has been lodged to continue dumping spoil at the Aramoana/Spit, Heywards Point and Shelley beach dumpsites, with the intention of much greater volumes than have been placed there in the last 10 years.
It is felt that not enough accurate science has been presented by the Port in the applications for consent renewal, and we are asking that independent specialist 'surf science' monitoring be conducted immediately prior to any further dumping.

Please show your support by participating in the paddle out on your surfboard, bodyboard, paddle surfer etc.
There will be a charter bus leaving the Esplanade at St Clair picking up in the Octagon, and then the University bound for Aramoana in time for the paddle out, cost will be $5 per head.

You can also donate to the cause via 'join us'.

An Aramoana Appreciation Beach Festival & Concert is being organised for late November, so please keep an eye out for this unique and positive event.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Public to have say on erosion plans


The public will be asked to have their say as the Dunedin City Council considers plans to combat erosion at Middle Beach that could lead to a "managed retreat" from the area.

Councillors at yesterday's council community development committee agreed to consult the public on a draft Ocean Beach management plan prepared by consultant Tonkin and Taylor.

The draft plan covered an area stretching 4km from St Clair to Lawyers Head and includes Middle Beach, where serious erosion occurred following severe storms in 2007.

The report recommended continuing the council's holding pattern of monitoring and sand replenishment work - put in place following the 2007 storms - in the meantime.

However, the report also canvassed 13 longer-term options and recommended a managed retreat from Middle Beach and Kettle Park, or construction of an inland buried backstop wall to protect the area, over the next 10 to 50 years.

Initial estimates showed the work could cost between $8 million and $19 million, including a clean-up of the old landfill underneath Kettle Park at risk of being further exposed by continued erosion.

Council community and recreation services manager Mick Reece said he hoped consultation could be completed by the end of this year, with recommendations that followed considered as part of next year's long-term plan hearings.

Detailed information gathered by the council's Ocean Beach project team would also be made public through the council's website to aid the consultation process, he said.


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