A critical step towards tackling beach erosion at Stockton Beach has been given the green light with the NSW Government approving an exploration licence to identify sand suitable for renourishing the beach.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the Geological Survey of NSW within the Department of Regional NSW applied for the offshore exploration licence in December to allow exploration work to begin.
Mr Barilaro said the program of work will be carried out on a potentially suitable offshore sand resource on the inner continental shelf of the Stockton Bight, up to 5.5 kilometres from the coastline.
“The exploration work will get underway shortly and will involve mapping the seafloor and collecting sand samples to assess its suitability for beach nourishment,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The data will also be useful for future studies, such as determining why erosion occurs locally and to gain a better understanding of the marine environment in Stockton Bight.”
Mr Barilaro said the surveys may also locate previously unknown shipwrecks and other cultural artefacts, ensuring they are protected in the future.
“The exploration work will be carried out under strict licensing conditions to ensure the environment and marine life, including whales, are protected,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The licence approval brings us one step closer to replenishing Stockton Beach and I’m pleased to provide assurance to families and local businesses that we are taking real action to resolve this issue.”
Mr Barilaro said the exploration work is funded from $1 million announced in March 2020.