The City of Gold Coast partners with Griffith University as part of its ongoing strategy to maintain and safeguard its community’s greatest asset—the Gold Coast’s world-famous beaches.
Recognising the vast environmental, social and economic value of these beaches, the local council engages GCCM to conduct vital scientific research, as well as build community awareness, to protect the Gold Coast shoreline.
GCCM Director Professor Rodger Tomlinson says coastal communities face many challenges, with the greatest being natural hazards such as storms, cyclones and subsequent beach erosion.
The Griffith Centre for Coastal Management has been supporting the Gold Coast for over 15 years now, providing underpinning research to support best practice coastal management.
Professor Rodger Tomlinson
"The Centre has undertaken numerous projects over the years and one of the really big ones has been the Gold Coast Shoreline Management Plan."
The City of Gold Coast engaged GCCM, the pre-eminent authority on beach science and research in Australia, to develop the Shoreline Management Plan. A strategy with a 50-year horizon, the Plan focuses on coastal physical and ecological processes, economic and community values, and beach management. At its heart, the Plan aims to keep sand on the beaches so the tourists keep coming, and prevent erosion from threatening infrastructure when wild weather arrives.
City of Gold Coast Infrastructure Director Alton Twine says maintaining the city’s pristine beaches is imperative.
"We have almost 12 million visitors a year, making use of the beaches and bringing about $7.5 billion dollars into the local economy, so you can imagine that there’s a lot of challenges to make sure we have the best beach environment possible for residents and visitors alike," Mr Twine says.
GCCM also facilitates the Coastal Community Engagement Program in partnership with City of Gold Coast.
While boosting community awareness of coastal management, the Program also gives residents opportunities to care for their local beach environments through planting native dune species, weed removal, litter collection and auditing.
The business management, contracting and legals are handled by Griffith Enterprise, who works with GCCM to leverage other business opportunities for the program and University.