Photograph © Andrew Dunn, 04 November 2006.
“We’re coming up with these hard engineering solutions to fight nature. Artificial headlands, seawalls … they are Band-Aid solutions. The most cautious thing to do would be to maintain proper buffer zones.”
Why people still prefer seawalls:
Rissik is sanguine about the concentration of infrastructure around Australia’s coast. “From a pathway from the beach, a local economy grows and, once that is established, it anchors people to that area and change is very difficult.”
Rissik says: “People forget and they build there again.”
Seawalls and other hard engineering methods can be very effective in stopping natural coastal processes – erosion as well as deposit. This resulting in stable coastlines, allowing people to stay and build communities.
However, how sustainable is this with sea levels rising yearly? There comes a tie where the safer option is to retreat further inland and to establish a buffer zone between water and settlement.