The reality of ocean level rising at Cottesloe Beach and its impacts, need to be accurately explained beyond just technical data and facts. Geotechnical information needs to be comprehensive for the job to be done properly.
Implications of Ocean Level Rising
Many people do not understand full implications for ocean level rising. Many have real problems in visualizing three dimensions and therefore misunderstand the implications of heights and setbacks arguments and the threats to the amenity to beach goers.
It is often just as difficult for professionals to understand ocean level rising ramifications. This is why the general public must be fully informed of the implications of planning decisions in areas near to the beach
Not enough resources have been applied to communicating the visual impact of ocean level rising and planning decisions.
Accuracy has to be an effective first step in the process. Levels and alignments of the beach and promenade are critical components for an effective design process.
Beaches Eliminated As Oceans Rise
The reality is that the ocean level rising will eliminate the current stretch of beach sand. The primary sand dunes will also be lost or greatly degraded over time.
We need to adapt and plan for that eventuality now, before any hugely expensive developments commence. With ocean level rising there could be 20 metres of beach lost over the next 20 – 30 years. .
Extra space must be reserved to accommodate moving the beach eastwards.
Beaches will eventually cease to exist due to ocean level rising and if current development plans continue unchanged, there will be no allowance for a future Cottesloe Beach, as the ocean naturally tries to move it eastwards.
We as a community and electors of government simply need to intervene now before expensive developments begin to evolve.
This was recommended as early as 2004 and anticipation of ocean level rising was included in our original report: Cottesloe Foreshore Plans carried out for the Town of Cottesloe. Climate change must be addressed. In other areas of this website we have written extensively on the problems created by lack of population control, by energy consumption growth and the need for improvement in our built environment to help greenhouse gas reduction.
Reposition Beach Developments
Apart from moving Cottesloe Beach eastwards we also need to extend a development zone eastwards, to make it possible for economically viable projects to proceed over time.This is a key element for creating a future beachfront of value.
We also need full morning sun to reach the promenade, key social areas and the beach along the waterline.
If a wall of shade prevails, these areas will no longer be attractive to the public.
Oceans To Rise 1-1.5 Metres
It is obvious that inaction over ocean level rising due to climate change is ensuring that we can expect the full one metre rise.
In fact, it is more likely to be 1.5 metres due to the slow action in abating CO2 and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere by most of the developed world.
My suggestions regarding moving the beach eastwards should be considered simply as ‘damage control’.
Issues such as public parking, attractive access to the beach by nearby residents and the maintenance of heritage views need to be considered in any integrated vision for the precinct.
Key issues needed for a 100-year plan: Cottesloe Beach
- Moving the beach stage-by-stage eastwards allowing 30 metre extra buffer zone
- Setbacks of 30m from Marine Parade for all new developments
- Identifying a development zone for commercial development expansion, subject to the proposed new 30 metre set back
- Establishing rear access to the central car park off Marine Parade, to reduce summer car congestion.
- Establishing low-key 2-storey height development as a front to a new 2 storey car park and reduce existing parking at the CBH/Indiana precinct.
Planning this beachfront is really a very complex task. It should not be oversimplified.The issue of ocean level rising is a serious matter.