Working with OEH and MidCoast Water, Council engaged Royal HaskoningDHV and ETS to undertake a sand tracing study aimed at improving the understanding of sediment transport processes at Old Bar Beach. The first step involved the deployment of different coloured fluorescent sand tracer material at three locations on Old Bar Beach. Over the next 12 months four sampling exercises were undertaken within both the onshore and offshore environments. The collected samples were subsequently analysed to assess the transport of the tracer material under the local coastal processes.

Clearly identifiable longshore and cross-shore sediment transport pathways were identified from the analysis results. This provides an improved conceptual understanding of sediment transport processes at Old Bar Beach for a range of wave conditions including low energy, significant storm activity, and post-storm beach recovery. The results from the sand tracing study will provide greater certainty to Council and the local community regarding the selection and design of possible coastal management options at Old Bar Beach.

Sand tracing is starting to gain traction in Australia as an innovative and valuable tool for determining effective coastal management strategies.