Year to get data on beach erosion

The Dunedin City Council's search for solutions to erosion problems along St Clair, Middle and St Kilda beaches is due to begin in earnest on July 1.

Council community and recreation services manager Mick Reece said yesterday data collection would take one year and would include "modelling'' of the problem and possible solutions.

He told the council committee that has been hearing public submissions on the erosion problem this week that "some people'' considered one year of data collecting was "rushing it''.

The Otago Regional Council considered two to three years of research was required for that type of problem.

The committee is recommending the information provided by the public becomes part of the data available to the emergency response team put in place last June when storms severely depleted sand dunes along the beach.

It also recommended Crs Colin Weatherall and Dave Cull join the nine-person team, which includes two Canterbury geomorphologists, preparing a long-term plan for the council.

Cr Weatherall said it was important the council reassured the public that any plan produced would not allow for the inundation of any part of South Dunedin or St Kilda.

Committee chairman Cr Paul Hudson said the emergency response team was working hard to protect the assets of the city but "maybe'' there would be a need to use some of the playing fields along the beach to achieve a long-term solution.

Mr Reece said storms over the past few days had created 5m swells but these had not caused significant sand loss and it was hoped forecast northerlies would deliver more sand to the beaches.

One of the first pieces of data the emergency response team will seek is the name of the point next to the St Clair Saltwater Pool. The scope of the study stretches from the point to Lawyers Head.

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