Wrack action on beaches

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
Sea wrack at three locations in the City of Rockingham could be removed.
Camera IconSea wrack at three locations in the City of Rockingham could be removed.

A build up of sea wrack could soon be removed from the Safety Bay and Waikiki shorelines to help provide better access for beach-goers.

Sea wrack has accumulated at popular beaches along the City’s coast with some residents raising concerns about the smell and potential health issues associated with the degrading wrack, and its impact on beach access and the overall amenity of the coastline.

Protected under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 sea wrack can only be removed with an approved clearing permit issued by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

The City made an application to DWER with a permit issued for the removal or relocation of sea wrack in three management areas including between Bent Street boat ramps along the beach to the southern end of the pond, between Bent Street boat ramp to the southern boundary of 328 Safety Bay Road, and between Malibu Street and Short Street in front of the Waikiki beach access ramp.

A City report said officers recognised the overarching environmental benefits of sea wrack including the “vital role” it played in the healthy function of the coastal ecosystems, but management may be needed to reduce its impact on the amenity of the beach.

“A number of community events are held along the foreshore between Shoalwater and Warnbro including kite surfing competitions in “the pond” and vacation swimming lessons in front of the Waikiki boat access ramp,” the report said.

“There has been concern that the ability to safely conduct these events may be impeded by the volumes of wrack that can occur at different times throughout the year.”

Mayor Barry Sammels said sea wrack was also crucial in the battle against erosion and that the City would only relocate or remove it in certain circumstances.

Permit conditions also require relocation to be prioritised over removal, with wrack collated to be used for beach and dune stabilisation where possible.

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