Iluka Beach Stabilization and Revegetation Project

The dunes along the small beach at Iluka, like many others along the metropolitan coast, suffer severe damage during storm surges such as the one that occurred at the beginning of August.

These dunes are particularly susceptible to erosion due to the paucity of vegetation resulting from people entering the dunes and trampling those plants that are already struggling to survive in a harsh environment.

Evidence of storm surge at base of dunes undergoing stabilization and revegetation, 7 July 2023. Photo Credit: Don Poynton

To combat the continual erosion, the Friends of North Ocean Reef-Iluka Foreshore (FONORIF) with the assistance of the City of Joondalup’s Natural Areas Team, has commenced a project to stabilize and revegetate the foredune using funds from a Coastwest grant.

The project kicked off at the beginning of summer with the installation of sand-trap fencing and a temporary fence to prevent pedestrians entering the dunes. This was followed by the laying of coir matting and the planting of Spinifex hirsutus.

Another 80 S. hirsutus and S. longifolius cuttings were planted at the front of the dune in mid- June as part of FONORIF’s community planting morning. At the same time over 300 seedlings of other coastal species were planted on the rest of the dune.

In late July, FONORIF volunteers followed the lead of other Coastcare groups and applied a solution of urea to the spinifex plants. Elsewhere, this has led to much quicker coverage.

The recently released Draft Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaption Plan (CHRMAP) for the City of Joondalup’s 17 km of coastline recommended Beach Nourishment i.e., the importing of sand, as the Adaption option for Iluka beach. It is hoped the stabilization and revegetation of the dune by FONORIF will make this solution unnecessary, particularly as it would require the destruction of bushland to create a permanent access way to the beach – thereby destroying as much of the foreshore reserve as it is trying to save.

Author: Don Poynton, Friends of North Ocean Reef-Iluka Foreshore.

Feature Photo: Volunteers planting seedlings during Community Planting Morning, 18 June 2023. Feature Photo Credit: Don Poynton.