Lal’s Lookout at the mouth of the Greenough River is heavily utilised and valued by the community, though like many similar places is being loved to death. Heavy foot and vehicle traffic into the dune, which is directly exposed to the prevailing winds resulted in significant vegetation loss and sand movement. Aside from the environmental cost, maintaining access to the lookout and beach to the standard expected has been costly.
Aerial view of the works at Lal’s Lookout. Photo: City of Greater Geraldton
Previous efforts to revegetate the dune have not resulted in long term plant establishment. Through the generous funding of Coastwest, the City of Greater Geraldton was able to implement its current approach to soft coastal management at the site, which covers approximately 1500 sq metres. Combining sand trap fencing and brushing is based on experience gained over the past few years at other sites. Hessian fencing has proven to be very effective at trapping sand, without the environmental issues of plastic based materials. The hessian breaks down eventually leaving organic material that contributes to the dune stability, and does not need to be removed when plants establish through it.
Pathways to the car park and hessian fencing. Photos: City of Greater Geraldton
Brushing with fresh harvested acacia has also demonstrated a number of benefits. It is easier to work with than commercially available brushing and locks into itself as it dries in situ. It also has a lower transport cost than bulk ordered material and is an effective deterrent to people walking through rehabilitated areas. The stabilised sand and semi-shade under the brushing promotes rapid plant regeneration.
Story supplied by Department of Land and Heritage (DPLH) and written by the City of Greater Geraldton.
Top photo: Cape Burney; supplied by City of Greater Geraldton.