Endangered Waves

SURFING IS HERE TO STAY, BUT OUR SURFBREAKS MAY NOT BE.

Many of Australia’s best waves are endangered. Yet, unlike endangered wildlife, there are no surfbreak protection laws in Australia. Nor are the impacts on surfbreaks considered in planning and infrastructure developments.

Surfing is not just a sport. Surfing is about experiencing natural places and forces at their best and their worst.

The Endangered Waves program aims to highlight the many threats endangering a number of Australia’s most unique and fragile surfing and coastal environments. An ‘endangered wave’ is one where the wave itself is threatened, or the immediate coastal environment and surfing amenity is threatened by one or more of the threats listed within our Endangered Waves Criteria.

NOMINATE YOUR ENDANGERED WAVE

If you know of a threat to a wave or coastal environment that meets the criteria above please contact us outlining why it is in imminent threat. This will be reviewed against the criteria by our Campaign Committee. It is our hope that this process will shine a light on Australia’s threatened coastal environments.

ENDANGERED WAVES CRITERIA

  1. Coastal Developments, such as breakwalls, seawalls, buildings, roads, ports, dredging, or coastal management works that cause changes to reefs, sand flows, beach shape, currents or swell.
  2. Accessibility or Overcrowding, caused by too much or too little public access to the beach. This can result from private or public developments, such as badly planned tourism resorts, mines, infrastructure (e.g. desalination plants), defence land or farming land.
  3. This might close waves to the public or make ‘wilderness breaks’ too accessible, in both cases damaging the surf experience.
  4. Polluted Water quality from sewage or stormwater outfalls, poor development, industrial and agricultural runoff, or badly managed rivers and natural catchment areas.
  5. Visual Amenity (as seen from the shore and from the surf). The view from the surf is undervalued in most planning decisions and is spoiled by ridgeline developments and beachfront invasions. Surfers equally value what they see from the sea as well as from the shore.
  6. Ecosystem Threats, where the environmental integrity of the surfbreak is threatened, or areas adjacent to it, causing risk to aquatic or terrestrial life. For example, overuse by fisherman, surfers, divers, hikers, 4WDs or tourists may necessitate legal protection and safeguards.
  7. Climate Change will wreak havoc with surf breaks and the shape of the coast itself, tempting governments to propose physical barriers and limit access.  Rising sea levels and water temperatures will also change tides, currents, swell, banks and the weather that defines the ideal window for each surf break. Surfers will see gains and losses but, most of all, they will see uncertainty.

The threat must be identifiable and imminent and within what is regarded as a reasonable proximity to the break to warrant Surfrider Foundation listing it as an Endangered Wave.

ENDANGERED WAVES

The Farm (via Susie)

THE FARM, WOLLONGONG – NSW

The campaign to save The Farm south of Wollongong on the NSW South Coast brought the surfing and First Nations community together to oppose the major development of a large scale tourist park that was planned by the trust managers (aka Reflections Holiday Parks) on the site of the pristine 265 hectares of crown and sacred land, known as Killalea State Park. 

The development plans put forward were to directly impact The Farm and Mystics surf breaks which are located within the National Surfing Reserve in Killalea State Park. This land contains several significant Aboriginal cultural sites including middens, quarries and women’s birthing trees that the traditional custodians, the Dharawal people have used for thousands of years. 

On May 1st 2021, over 680 surfers took to the water whilst thousands lined the shores to demonstrate their opposition to the development that had been planned without thorough community consultation. 

The news of the paddle out reached across the Pacific and the Save The Waves Coalition has joined the Save Killalea Alliance, National Surfing Reserve Killalea and Surfrider Australia to oppose development at The Farm. 

Sign the Petition https://www.change.org/p/gareth-ward-mp-save-the-farm-no-tourist-development-for-killalea-state-park

 

YAMBA – NSW

THREATS: POLLUTED WATER, ECOSYSTEM THREATS

Disrupted environmental visual amenity to the farm NSR surfing

Yamba and the surrounding waterways and coastlines including Iluka and Angourie (a national surfing reserve) are an iconic stretch of coastline of pumping waves that are under threat from proposed dam and mining activities surrounding the Clarence River. There are many exploratory licences currently in place looking for minerals in the area and granted to function they would impose unacceptable risks to the health of local waterways. An ecological and economical disaster awaits should there be toxic run off pollution and also changes to natural water flow. Surfers, paddlers, fishermen/women, beach and ocean enthusiasts alike would feel and see the impacts firsthand.

“As surfers we are strongly connected to the areas where our rivers meet the sea. The Clarence River is under threat, as is the playground of world class waves at the end of it. Toxic copper mines do not belong near rivers and precious water sources and in these times of extreme drought, healthy water should be our highest priority. I’m proud to live in the Northern Rivers amongst such great communities. There is so much power in joining together to look after the things we love.” Dan Ross

Surfrider Foundation is rallying support behind the local surfers, community and Clarence Catchment Alliance to help protect and conserve this epic coastline. There is an old school petition that you can fill out as the initial call to action. 4,000 of the 10,000 signatures needed have been scribed so far, for the local MP to table it at parliament. It’s time to stand up for the mighty Clarence and the awesome coastline surrounding. Here’s the link to the petition: https://imgur.com/JeB5hid?fbclid=IwAR1xekeE-6eWqXXYZ52zhOGlR-YM8k_HnhhvCdJJjq6QDvyBefsrJPrxhk8 As future action is required, we will be there on the beach, online and in the halls of ‘authority’ to stand up for the coast. Check out this great video featuring Hayley Talbot, Dan Ross & Dave Rasta: https://vimeo.com/366183369

“We are burning right now (tragic NSW fires Nov 2019). Our valley is on fire and our homes and biodiversity are going up in smoke with no end in sight. The ridge line in the upper Clarence Catchment dubbed “Cobalt Ridge” due to its ore grades is currently alight. As we have always said, this is no place for open cut mining activity. There is no safe way to mine in the remote Clarence catchment. We are witnessing the fruition of the risks right now. If the mine was operational it would be burning. There is no way to prevent toxic tailings leaching into our river and ocean ecosystems on ridge lines so steeply angled into the river and its tributaries. Fires can’t read the “reviews of environmental factors” (required to obtain a Production Licence) and they certainly don’t care to follow them. Systems fail. We will not roll the dice on our home for the greed of a small few.” Hayley Talbot.

GOOLAWAH – Crescent Head, NSW

(Backbeaches from Raceourse to Pt Plomer)
THREATS: Developments; Accessibility / Overcrowding

In January 2019, 300+ locals marched along Point Plomer Rd in protest of the decision made by Kempsey Shire Council, without consultation, to tar the remaining sections of unsealed road. The Kempsey Council plan to tar the remaining 6.2kms of dirt road leading to iconic and relatively secluded back beaches. Without community or indigenous consultation, with haste to get a grant from NSW government to complete it citing road safety concerns and maintenance costs. Tarring of the road was rejected in 2003 when the region’s rich heritage and significant Aboriginal sites were identified. Forward to 2019 where the proposal is back again, but local residents and Dunghutti elders say council has made the decision to tar with no consultation. Promises to respect local indigenous wishes seem to be forgotten after 16years. The issues for surfers relate to changing the entire surfing experience. Once this road is tarred there will no doubt be a large increase in visitors to this coast as access is made ‘easy’. There is already the situation where there is often over 100+ surfers at Crescent point, but you can then jump in your car and head down the country road and surf with a few of your mates. This is why Surfrider Foundation are stepping up to voice our concerns and support the community of Crescent Head. It’s obvious just how special a stretch of surfable coast this is in most conditions, and particularly the role of the dirt road in limiting the number of people surfing and using the area. It limits users to those that have the means and/or patience to deal with the corrugations and dust. We need to keep special places like this. There will be an increase in environmental impacts associated with the increased visitation, traffic and waste. As already there are periods of the year where the place is full. An increase in visitor numbers will only place more pressure on this biodiversity hot spot, this will particularly be the case with day visitors. Resealing the road will take away the very element that is appealing. Plus, will sealing the road, open opportunities up for further development?… well we’ve seen this happen in many other parts of the country.

Surfrider stands united with those opposed to sealing Plomer Rd and keeping the appeal of a mostly untouched environment for surfing and enjoying a magic part of our coastline. There is a march planned for December 29, 2019, heading from Crescent Head community hall to Big Hill, starting at 7:30am. Join us in demonstrating to Kempsey Council and all potential future developers that we must keep paradise as it is.

Kirra, Gold Coast, QLD

THREATS: POLLUTED WATER, ECOSYSTEM THREATS

Surfrider Foundation Gold Coast played an intergeral part in the Bring Back Kirra campaign, and the wave has since returned. Yet there’s is a quietly ominous risk that is present at Kirra beach these days and is why Kirra has unfortunately returned to the E/W list…

In Oct 2017 Warning signs were placed at Kirra beach warning people not to swim or fish in the outlet a Kirra beach after water from Coolangatta Creek was found to be contaminated with Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFAS), a group of manufactured chemicals, which is used in firefighting at most airports around the country, PFAS are very stable chemicals that do not easily break down and may persist in the environment. UNSW Associate Professor Robert Niven, an environmental engineer who studies PFAS contamination, told the ABC that the levels of contamination listed in the 2015 Airservices report about the Gold Coast airport expansion are “worryingly high”. The chemicals have remained in the soil and groundwater at some Australian airports and defence bases. In Qld, Toowoomba Regional Council filed the case with the Supreme Court in Brisbane, claiming the Commonwealth had been negligent in its management of the issue. Communities in Williamtown in NSW, Oakey in QLD and Katherine in the NT, amongst others have been affected also.

Andrew McKinnon, chairman of the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve, feared the potential impact on the Gold Coast’s reputation. “It’s definitely not a good look for the Gold Coast, especially after securing the Global Wave Conference in 2020,”.

The Australian Government’s PFAS Expert Health Panel, in its report to the Federal Minister for Health, noted there is no current evidence to suggest an increase in overall health risk related to PFAS exposure. However, the Expert Panel also said health effects cannot be ruled out at this time.

For the unknown, for the research papers, statement, court cases and anecdotal evidence, Kirra remains on the Endangered Waves list. We reckon it’s best not to go surfing here surrounding rain events.

Stockton Beach, NSW

THREATS: COASTAL DEVELOPMENTS

Stockton is a peninsula across the Hunter River, north of Newcastle. The southern end of Stockton Beach has long been a popular surfing destination, but in recent years progressive loss of sand, both from the beach and the near shore area, has had a dramatic impact on surf quality. Historically, surfers from more south facing beaches would come to Stockton to surf in southerly winds and large south swells, but loss of near shore sandbanks has meant that for a majority of the year the waves are reduced to a shore-dump.

Like any other exposed beach, Stockton Beach has suffered through many cycles of erosion and rebuilding, but since the development of the Port of Newcastle, which begun in 1818 with the Macquarie Pier, the sand supply into Stockton has been progressively cut off. Historically Stockton Beach recedes by more than 1m, and loses between 20,000 and 50,000m3 of sand annually. This figure represents an historical average, but recently the recession and sand loss have accelerated significantly. According to an Umwelt Consulting Report for the Newcastle Council (Shifting Sands of Stockton Beach, 2002) estimates put the figure between 1988 and 2000 at 5-6 times this rate.

The land at the northern end of the Mitchell St seawall has receded by more than 5m. This recent erosion has: begun uncovering garbage from a heritage council dump; the Childcare Centre has been demolished as it was at an immediate risk of falling into the ocean; taken away all sandy beach in front of the Mitchell St Seawall; uncovered World War 2 tank traps and a long since forgotten mine shaft which now represent a significant hazard for surfers; washed away the Surf Club access to the beach and rendered about 2km or beach essentially inaccessible to the public. Studies suggest that if nothing is done to put a stop to the erosion, the recession will continue until it reaches the river, making Stockton an island.

Since 2002 there have been at least 5 studies which look directly at the erosion of Stockton Beach. These reports all accept that the erosion of Stockton Beach is a direct result of the development and maintaining of the shipping channel into the Port of Newcastle. The erosion can be seen to be a man-made problem related to harbour construction. The erosion and recession has been demonstrated to be progressive rather than cyclic. This means that without intervention, the situation will continue to grow worse.

There have been multiple potential solutions offered to repair the damage to Stockton Beach. All of these solutions call for a large capital nourishment campaign in order to rebuild some of what has been lost. The sand requirement is in the vicinity if 500,000m3. This sand will likely come from a local source, be it offshore, terrestrial or estuarine in origin. The second stage of the solution will likely be some form of infrastructure with the goal of keeping the sand on the beach. Some of the potential solutions include: Offshore Rockwalls; Artificial Reefs; Groins; Sand Bypassing; and Artificial Headland.

For more information, or to find out how you can help, see the SAVE STOCKTON BEACH Facebook page

South Newcastle, NSW

THREATS: COASTAL DEVELOPMENTS

South Newcastle beach was under threat from plans to build a skate park on the beach! Surfrider Foundation was approached by South Newcastle boardriders to help fight the preposterous proposal to place more than 800M3 on concrete in the coastal erosion/impact zone. Surfrider immediately enlisted ‘Southie’ as an endangered wave. We engaged our affiliates of Coastal Geomorphologists, engineers and the coastal management & surfing fraternities, to weigh in on the issue and together with the local surfers and rate payers we helped the City of Newcastle reconsider their design. They are currently re drafting plans to be released “within the next few months”. However, before we can endorse the project and remove from the Endangered Waves list, our team will have to see and study the engineering drawings.

The new indicative design can be viewed here:
https://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Newcastle/media/DocumentsHYS/Engagement%20Projects/Bathers%20Way%20-%20Newcastle%20Beach/Bathers-Way-Newcastle-Beach-Indicative-Designs-December-2019.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1cptZAJez0VtQM6rU_ytwTGju9AEFSppRjdcG4_X6TZQ4Hjh4rmgHhH_c

Martha Lavinia, King Is, TASMANIA

THREATS: POLLUTED WATER, VISUAL AMENITY & ECOSYSTEM INTEGRITY

Photo Courtesy of seandavey.com
Martha Lavinia is a world class beach break on King Island in Bass Strait. Perfect A-frame waves are formed by swell wrapping around both sides of the island. Martha’s has been voted one of the Top Surf breaks in Australia. The Tasmanian government earmarked potential grow zones for the Salmon Farming industry. The waters off King Island was one of those areas. Just around the corner from the world renowned Martha Lavinia surfbreak and adjacent to a State Reserve and international Ramsar site. Tassal has been granted a permit to undertake preliminary work with regard to establishing a salmon farm immediately east of Marthas (potentially 1 million fish in 22 sea pens). Tassal continues to monitor the conditions near Martha’s however no monitoring results have been reported for 2019.

Impacts of such a development include:
Potential impacts on the quality of the surfing waves due to structures within the farm impeding the strength and height of the swell. A salmon farm here would damage the iconic King Island brand which is reliant on a pristine environment particularly for its seafood, kelp harvesting, dairy & beef industries and tourism. Potential for the public to lose recreational access to coastal areas on the east side of the island. Pollution in the form of untreated waste (fish faeces) on the seabed which could wash up on the beaches. Risks to ecosystems, natural fisheries and kelp habitat due to waste and excess feed reducing dissolved oxygen level in the water. Disease and parasites from the salmon farm being introduced to the surrounding water. Acidity in the water may increase due to excess fish feed falling to the sea bed. Increase of marine debris from fish pen infrastructure, rope, pipe and nets. Seals may be attracted to the smorgasbord of fish which in turn could increase shark numbers. Risk to the vulnerable fairy tern and risk to other species that use the area such as the eastern curlew, black faced cormorant, white faced storm petrel, white bellied sea eagle, orange bellied parrot and long nosed fur seal. There is also a risk to the vulnerable humpback whale and endangered southern right whale which migrate through the permit area.

Surfrider Foundation’s online petition has surpassed 24,600 signatures. The local King Island petition has over 75% of the island community signed on. All petitions are to be presented to Parliament in 2020. The locals were also writing submissions to the Legislative Councils Inquiry into the fin fish industry.
Surfrider’s video ‘Save Martha Lavinia’ from our Feb 2018 trip can be viewed here:
https://vimeo.com/267774795. Patagonia’s “Artifishal” and their new short doco “Saving Martha” was also screened nationally, based on the locals fight in July 2019.

Watch videos and read statements from the likes of Barton Lynch, Tom Carroll, Jamie O’Brien, Ross Clarke-Jones, Brendan Margieson, Derek Hynd, Sunny Garcia, Andrew Kidman, Pancho Sullivan, Toby Martin, Mikey Brennan, Stuart Gibson, Sean Davey and Nick Carroll. It’s quite clear that fish farms are “NOT WELCOME” on King Island! To support Surfrider in protecting this wave please follow our dedicated Save Martha Lavinia Beach facebook page to keep up to date on all events. Please also sign this Surfrider https://www.change.org/p/tasmanian-house-of-assembly-save-martha-lavinia-beach

Bells Beach, Surf Coast, VIC

THREATS: COASTAL DEVELOPMENTS, ACCESSIBILITY, OVERCROWDING

Photo courtesy of Darren Noyes-Brown Photography
Bells Beach is the world’s first “Surfing Recreation Reserve” and enjoys global iconic status due to the majestic coastal beauty, ancient indigenous resonance and world class waves that feather on the horizon in corduroy lines and pump through the famous Bells Bowl.

On 3 November 1971 Bells was officially named “Bells Beach Surfing Recreation Reserve” to clearly define “recreational surfing” as the priority activity in the Reserve. Recreational surfing continues to be the primary activity at Bells and recreational surfers are far and away the most frequent users of the Reserve. The environmental values and indigenous heritage also continue to illuminate the heart and soul of Bells Beach and surrounds.

Unfortunately Bells Beach is on the endangered waves list due to serious threat from:

  • Inappropriate forms of commercial tourism that is costly and fails to capture trade for local business
  • Further development of infrastructure to accommodate commercial tourism and unsustainable levels of visitation within Bells Reserve
  • Growing pressure for larger and more frequent events, along with permanent event infrastructure and clearing of natural vegetation to accommodate events within Bells Reserve
  • Clearing of natural vegetation and installation of permanent infrastructure for irregular user groups
  • “Rural Conservation Zone” amendments that now allow significant commercial development throughout the hinterland immediately surrounding Bells Reserve
  • Massive local population growth without clear vision or management strategies in place

In addition, natural environmental processes exacerbated by climate change are already having a graphic impact on Bells Beach, as shown in the short video produced by the local Surfrider Foundation Surf Coast Branch which can be viewed here.

Surfrider Foundation Surf Coast Branch, Surfers Appreciating Natural Environment (SANE – the core environmental stewards of Bells Reserve since the 1980s – www.sanesurfers.org), Bells Beach Preservation Society (BBPS – www.savebellsbeach.com), and a number of concerned locals have been collaborating on a vision to create the Bells Beach Surf Sanctuary. The vision is being formed in consultation with the recognised Traditional Owners of Bells and in essence aims to:

Respect, protect and cultivate the environmental values, indigenous heritage and recreational surfing experience of Bells Beach now and for all future generations.

Achieving our vision will also serve to optimise the environmental, cultural, social, recreational and economic values of Bells and surrounds.

Double Island Point, QLD

THREATS: OVERCROWDING, ECOSYSTEM INTEGRITY, POLLUTED WATER, VISUAL AMENITY

Double Island Point and the surrounding waves and beaches are under peak pressure from overuse. Over the last few decades and noticeably in the recent years, increasing recreational interest and ease of access with a heavily populated S/E QLD and more people owning 4×4’s, has led to serious pressure and concerns about environmental damage & public health. Double Island is situated in between Noosa and Fraser Island, in the Cooloola Recreation Area of The Great Sandy National Park accessed only by 4×4.

With the influx of campers, tourists, day users and particularly over the peak periods, Double Island can see thousands of people driving the beaches and camping with no camp zone allocations or seasonal rotations, and no regulations or enforcement on camping toilets (“Campers should bring a portable toilet for hygiene reasons.” – www.npsr.qld.gov.au).

On the busiest days, the point on both sides of the headland is reminiscent of a busy festival carpark rather than a pristine national park, and crew need to vie for position on the beach and in the water. Tonnes of rubbish is left all over the beaches and dunes, in addition to tide after tide of marine debris washing ashore. There are literally hundreds of makeshift toilets and holes behind the fore-dunes left to rot, and during heavy events, this all flushes out through the beach camp zone and onto the beach. The dunes are also in peril from careless, blatant and/or ignorant 4WDriving and camping all over them, then more recently, the fortifying pandanus are dying off due to the leaf hopper bug eating the trees away.

Surfrider Foundation implores the QLD Government to finalise and release “The Great Sandy Region Draft Management Plan”, for stakeholder review and public view, to help make the changes needed to better manage the national park and save this special place from further environmental degradation. The local rangers do an exceptional job but there is a lack of resource and infrastructure to support them, to manage these issues, regardless of the revenue that’s generated from both recreational and commercial permits.

Surfrider Foundation Sunshine Coast has been hosting beach clean up/ educational/ camping weekend events along the entire region since 2009. Now consistently gets 200-300 people everytime, cleaning up tonnes of rubbish, and engaging with the public on the beach and through the media channels, addressing, highlighting and acting these issues.

For further information, contact the Sunshine Coast branch and follow them on facebook.

Yaroomba, QLD

THREATS: COASTAL DEVELOPMENTS, ACCESSIBILITY & OVERCROWDING, VISUAL AMENITY, ECO SYSTEM THREATS

Yaroomba is a small beachfront coastal community around 2 km south of Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast. A long beach leads from Point Arkwright south to the Maroochy River, 15 kms away. A serious of reefs refract swell into several punchy beach break peaks and a grinding right back into the point. An outside set of reefs also produce long lefts on the right day. Being a back beach Yaroomba is a summer saviour being clean in a northerly.

Yaroomba is the subject of a massive urban development on land just down from the point, with proposals of a 7 storey hotel with an added eight hundred residential units on site. Stage one of the proposal allows for a seven story beachfront hotel block with the next four stages varying in height from five to seven story’s. The development would double the population of the area in one go. The Japanese developer Sekesui House was knocked back by council in a previous similar development in 2015. Since then following a massive promotion campaign by Sekesui and despite going completely against the 2014 town plan in relation to height and population density and a record of nearly 9300 written objections council has just given approval to the development by a 6 to 5 council vote.

The development will sit directly between scenic Mt Coolum and the ocean, from Pt Arwright and obviously the surfers view of the undeveloped area will all be impeded. With up to 600 extra car movements an hour and the population density going from 4.4 per hectare to nearly 48 per hectare. The local community is horrified by the development. With the added worry that, this stretch of beach is one of the last nesting spots on the Sunshine Coast for endangered turtles. The nesting site will be heavily impacted by the lights from the 7 story towers. With record nestings in the last couple of years on this stretch of beach, the fact turtles will not lay with high ambient light leaves significant concerns about the future of the turtle population.

With the highly controversial issue to be soon signed off by the developer several local residents groups are have taken the case to the Planning and Environment Court. With a long and expensive court case unfolding the local groups are united under Sunshine Coast Development Watch banner in the case.

For more information and to take action now head to www.saveyaroomba.com

The Other Side (TOS) / The Spit, QLD

THREATS: COASTAL DEVELOPMENTS, ACCESSIBILITY & ECOSYSTEM INTEGRITY

Since 2005 a number of proposals for the development of a cruise ship terminal have threatened the iconic beach break, The Other Side (TOS), and surrounding coastal environments at The Spit and South Stradbroke Island on Queensland’s Gold Coast. This unique wave is what it is thanks to an offshore canyon, channeling in swells across the delta of the Nerang River mouth where they peak up, before exploding onto an inner bar that is kept topped up by the seaway sand bypass. It it the combination of all of these factors that turn on the show that is TOS and make it a wave that has to be surfed.

In 2013-15 the Queensland’s State Government considered a proposal for the development of an Integrated Resort including a Casino and Cruise Ship Terminal on Wave break island directly adjacent to TOS. The proposal would involve significant dredging through the Nerang River Delta to allow access to mega cruise ships. In addition to the dredging the project involves a massive land reclamation project, the intensification of development on coastal public land and restrictions on access to TOS from the Spit during cruise ship operations.

For TOS surfers the development of an integrated resort development will restrict access across the seaway and risks negative impacts on the wave as a result of changes to coastal processes from dredging. In 2005 the value of surfing at TOS was estimated at $20 million per year to the local economy.

In 2005 and again in 2015 a massive community protest led by the Save Our Spit Alliance forced the state government to put off their plans.

Proposals and blue print plans ranging from foreshore redevelopment to cruise ship terminals to casinos to sewage outfalls are all on the table along the last remaining 10% of accessible Gold Coast coastal foreshore and beach that has not already been heavily developed upon. It provides a unique and rewarding surfing and coastal experience for anyone, from beginners through to the most experienced surfers. These breaks come alive during the winter months and can host incredible world-class waves at intermittent times, providing an assortment of wave types including long barrelling waves on swells from the south, punchy overhead piping tubes and even the occasional head high shorebreak that can spit.

The value of this undeveloped and ecologically rich stretch of coastal forest, dunes, beach and surfing breaks is elevated by it being surrounded by intense urban high-density development, making it a critically valuable balancing factor in the overall coastal amenity of the region. Whilst this proposal exists it presents a real and significant threat to the surf breaks and surfing amenity in the area, particularly the Philip Park beach breaks and sand banks at the immediate site of the proposed development.

Organisations opposing and campaigning against this are Surfrider Foundation Australia; Save Our Spit Alliance, Gecko – Gold Coast & Hinterland Environment Council, Save Our Broadwater, Main Beach Association. We will ensure any current and future proposals are met with opposition.

Blacksmiths Beach, Newcastle NSW

THREATS: COASTAL DEVELOPMENT

The beach and surfing amenity are disappearing at Blacksmiths beach. Newcastle learn to surf and Surfrider Hunter crews are currently lobbying Council and State Government to look at options to restore the surf break, They are leading the awareness campaign in a fight to save the beach from turning into the ‘new Stockton’.

On 1st December 2018 at the Bring Blacksmiths Back community Rally, it was announced that Blacksmiths would join the Endangered Waves list. This campaign has only just begun…

In recent years as the surf consistency and quality has deteriorated. With human engineering of sand dunes and the breakwater extension and upgrade, the sand banks in the surf zone have disappeared. With the loss of the surf zone sand banks there are no waves for body surfing or surfboard riding at Blacksmiths Beach from the Breakwater to Awabakal Avenue, basically no waves along the entire beach.

Blacksmiths Beach is now devoid of waves, with only a dangerous shore dump, that gets even more dangerous as the swell gets bigger. Surfers young and old, local and from afar are rallying together to ask the question, what has happened to Blacksmiths Beach?

ENDANGERED WAVES (EXTINCT)

North Narrabeen, NSW

THREATS: COASTAL DEVELOPMENTS, POLLUTED WATER, VISUAL AMENITY

North Narrabeen is a famous break threatened by an oversized man-made sand dune that is locking up the sand and disrupting the banks that make for North Narrabeen’s famous barrelling left and the Alley channel rights. The dune also restricts the lagoon from flushing during dry periods, closing the estuary entrance for extended periods and reducing lagoon and surf water quality.

Surfrider Foundation Northern Beaches Branch and the local community are working hard to engage with local Government to ensure the surf and beach amenity, water quality and coastal ecosystems are returned to their former condition and protected for future generations. Surfrider has been calling for a management regime for the dune by relocating sand to South Narrabeen where it is needed. A nearby sewage outfall adds to the problems associated with lagoon outflow into the surf zone.

Bastion Pt Mallacoota VIC

THREATS: COASTAL DEVELOPMENTS, VISUAL AMENITY & ECOSYSTEM INTEGRITY

Bastion Point is a remote right hand point break near the border of New South Wales in the far east of Victoria’s wilderness coast. The point is surrounded by Croajingolong National Park and is a stones throw from the sleepy coastal town of Mallacoota.

For over a generation now this wave and natural setting has been threatened by various boating access developments. A large number of organisations and individuals formed a Coalition (Save Bastion Point Campaign) in 2004 to fight the East Gippsland Shire Council’s proposal for a large scale breakwater and boat ramp development (known as Option 3b).

After 9 years of campaigning by the Coalition the fight was lost to preserve Bastion Point when construction of the beach road and breakwater began on 11 November 2013.

This is a story of vested interests, dodgy political decisions and a Council that blindly pushed ahead with a proposal despite overwhelming community opposition and an expert independent planning panel recommending against the development.

Surfrider Foundation supported the Save Bastion Point Campaign by raising the profile of this threatened wave through it’s national membership base, including the development of a video highlighting community concern for the project.