RESEARCH IN SOUTHERN QUEENSLAND INTO THE MANAGEMENT OF COASTAL SAND DUNES

James B. McKenzie, David A. Barr

Abstract


Queensland's Beach Protection Act (1968-1974) resulted, inter alia in the formation of the Beach Protection Authority, which is responsible for investigating coastal erosion, planning remedial works, recording and evaluating results of investigations, and various other functions. Control of windblown sand and retention of vegetated and naturally stable coastal sand dunes are valuable means of decreasing coastal erosion and because of this the Authority implements a broad research program into the management of coastal dunes in Queensland. Field trials are carried out at the Authority's Dune Management Research Station on South Stradbroke Island to determine methods of repairing, stabilizing and managing coastal dunes. The research program conducted so far consists of fifteen separate field trials within four general areas of investigation:- (a) Dune Forming Fences Two trials were installed in blown-out sections of the frontal dune to compare different types of semi-permeable fences (eg. wooden slats) and brush matting (a surface mulch of tree branches) on the basis of their ability to accumulate windblown sand and initiate dune formation. (b) Dune Stabilization Techniques Three trials were installed on bare dunal areas to evaluate methods of temporary sand surface stabilization (organic mulches and spray-on materials) as an aid in establishing dune vegetation. (c) Dune Vegetation Two trials were conducted to produce and compile information on the performance of important or potentially useful dune plants. (d) Plant Nutrition Eight trials using different combinations and rates of fertilizer were used to study methods of improvement of establishment and early growth of dune stabilizing plants, particularly sand spinifex grass (Spinifex hirsutus). Good establishment and rapid early growth is required in order to accelerate, improve, and decrease the costs of, the stabilization process.

Keywords


dune; dune management; Queensland

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