DELWP reviews drone footage of Apollo Bay foreshore erosion, following recent storms

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has reviewed drone footage of the Apollo Bay foreshore, where recent storms caused significant erosion.

Drone flights were undertaken by Deakin University last week, as part of a partnership between DELWP and Deakin University through the Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program.

DELWP Barwon South West Regional Manager of Land and Built Environment Greg Leece said: “Last week’s drone footage has been compared to drone vision filmed before the storm.

“This comparison has allowed us to measure the amount of sand that has been depleted, and determine that in excess of 5,000 cubic metres of sand was lost across 750 metres of foreshore.

“We have been able to assess which areas of foreshore lost the most sand, and these findings will guide sand placement during the sand renourishment that is being undertaken on the foreshore.

“The next drone flights over the area will be undertaken in a month’s time.

“It’s important that we accurately monitor sand volume changes on a regular basis, to gain a clear picture of how the local coastline is changing, and to guide our future management of erosion.

“DELWP and the Otway Coast Committee of Management are undertaking the sand renourishment works at Apollo Bay, to prevent further erosion and to protect assets behind the foreshore.”

Contractors are transporting more than 16,000 cubic metres of sand from the Apollo Bay Harbour to the beach.

The Colac Otway Shire is providing support for the project, as the Apollo Bay Harbour manager.

“More than 2,000 cubic metres has been moved at this stage. We expect the works will be completed over the next two months, weather and tide movements permitting,” said Mr Leece.

“As the project works continue, it’s important that people respect the safety barriers we have put in place, closing off dangerous sections of the beach.”

DELWP and the Otway Coast Committee of Management are coordinating the management of the Apollo Bay site, including actions to address immediate safety and infrastructure risk.

Both agencies will continue to work with the Colac Otway Shire, Barwon Water and VicRoads to identify a long-term solution for the site.

Actions to date have included the commencement of the sand renourishment project, putting safety barriers in place, and the closure of damaged walking paths, car parks and beach access points.

Before undertaking long-term action, significant consideration will be given to its potential effects on communities, ecosystems, organisations, infrastructure and coastal assets.