Monday, April 11, 2011

Australian beach losses predicted

In My Community (Australia): The north coast will lose beaches by the end of the century as sea levels rise, a Perth planning consultant claims. Environmental architect and scientist Garry Baverstock said northern metropolitan beaches would be worse off than beaches such as Cottesloe because they were sandy and there were not a lot of rocky areas.

“Your part of the world is going to lose many beaches,” Mr Baverstock said. He added 100m of beach would be lost for every metre the sea level rose. Predictions to 2100 vary from a 0.9m rise, according to the State Government, and up to a 6m rise cited by NASA, if no action was taken on climate change.

Mr Baverstock said governments needed to put restrictions on how close to the coast people could build. Wanneroo Mayor Jon Kelly said the City did not have a local planning policy related to rising sea levels because it was better addressed by state governments.

“State Planning Policy 2.6 (Coastal Planning) is therefore used to determine setbacks required to protect development from coastal processes, including sea-level rise,” he said. Mr Kelly said the general setback guide had been extended from 100m to 150m by the WA Planning Commission last year, but required setbacks were considered by the City as part of local structure planning…

Aerial view of Darwin, Australia, in 1984, US Air Force photo

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