An Australian-first engineered fringing reef project at C.Y. O'Connor Beach, installed by MMA’s environmental and stabilisation business, has earned a Special Commendation at the 2022 Western Australian Coastal Awards for Excellence.
Recognised in the Coastal Management and Adaption category of the Western Australian Planning Commission's biennial awards, coordinated by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, the reef project at C.Y. O’Connor Beach was recognised for improving the coastal environment.
Situated along the coastline of Perth, C.Y. O’Connor Beach has historically experienced significant coastal erosion issues, with the shoreline eroding by more than 50 metres over the past 20 years. The erosion resulted in significant dune loss which required the relocation of coastal paths and periodic sand replenishment, costing the City of Cockburn Council more than $500,000.
In order to reduce energy from ocean swell, MMA’s environmental and stabilisation business, Subcon, created and installed 135 Wave Attenuating Fringing Modules 100 metres offshore along the northern coastline of C.Y. O’Connor Beach in April 2022. The modules were created with a mix of concrete and recycled materials and allow coastal sand to fall out of suspensions and settle along the coastline, aiding in preserving the natural environment.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the reef will also double as a local tourism drawcard, as the module becomes colonised by marine flora and fauna.
The project will be monitored over time in collaboration with the City of Cockburn and the University of Western Australia to gauge the success of coastal erosion mitigation and will serve as a valuable example for national and international government and commercial organisations.