Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Port's beaches

The extent, width and configuration of Port Melbourne's beaches has been changing since the earliest days of white settlement, and undoubtedly before that. Sand accretes in some places [such as this beach at Princes St] and decreases in others. New beaches have been created at Beacon Cove and at Sandridge over the last 15 years. Wind, coastal structures and other coastal processes also contribute to sand movement around Port Phillip Bay. There has been considerable public debate recently about changes to Port Phillip Bay's beaches. The Office of the Environmental Monitor [OEM]E, appointed to monitor the channel deepening project, commissioned a study on Port Phillip Bay's beaches. The author, Eric Bird, refers to the report of the Foreshore Erosion Board of 1936 to show that even at that date, authorities were wrestling with issues of foreshore erosion. There are several interesting references to Port Melbourne in the 1936 report which you can access from the website of the OEM here. Go to Port Phillip Bay beaches on the left hand menu. I am wondering whether it was this report which led to the construction of the concrete steps at Sandridge. Click here to see one of my favourite photos of the concrete steps in their heyday when they were a popular gathering place.

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