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A redesigned seawall, moving an old landfill and creating better beach access are all possibilities for Dunedin’s coast in the next 100 years.
Other options include installing groynes or breakwaters, bolstering sand dunes, creating walkways and shifting sports fields.
The Dunedin City Council is grappling with ways St Clair and St Kilda beaches and Middle Beach might be managed amid the might of nature, erosion and climate change.
DCC coastal specialist Tom Simons-Smith said the total price tag of work could
extend to hundreds of millions of dollars over the next century.
Doing nothing would impose its own costs, however.
The seawall at St Clair is not likely to last beyond 20 years, even with modifications, and an old landfill under Kettle Park is at risk of being exposed by erosion.
Mr Simons-Smith said the status quo at Middle Beach was not sustainable.
Separate from the landfill, contaminated material was also in sand dunes there.
Longer term, John Wilson Ocean Dr is expected to be exposed at St Kilda.
Retreating from parts of the coast and working to make sand dunes more resilient are among the approaches to be considered.
More drastic interventions could include removing part or all of the old landfill, shifting sports fields, using sand-trapping structures such as groynes or breakwaters and redesigning the St Clair seawall.
Walkways could improve amenity and beach access along the coast.
The city council is seeking feedback to help it develop the St Clair-St Kilda Coastal Plan and will host seven community workshops in the next month.
The council has created a series of images to give people visual representations of options to think about.
Mr Simons-Smith presented St Clair Beach, Middle Beach and St Kilda Beach as three distinct areas and signalled different approaches could be adopted for each.
Infrastructure services general manager Simon Drew said the concept visuals were designed to provide a general sense of options.
"Through community conversations to date, about 1200 people have told us what they value about this coast and what they’re concerned about," Mr Drew said.
"Some of the key themes to emerge were the community’s desire for better protection from coastal erosion, improved and safer access to the beach, an enhanced natural environment and habitats for wildlife, and more opportunities for recreation.
"These new concept visuals aim to capture what people have told us, and this next round of consultation will help us to firm up a solid long-term vision and plan for managing and protecting the coast over the coming decades and beyond."
People could complete online surveys.
Mr Simons-Smith said feedback would help officials and experts to create a draft plan.
"While we have broken the coast into three parts for the purposes of the survey, we do of course consider how management at one part can affect the coast as a whole," he said.
The next round of consultation runs until March 29.