Our coastline is dynamic and always changing. Living on the coast also means living with the reality that erosion, storm tides and sea level rise, resulting from climate change, can affect our coastline. We are making plans to adapt to these risks and changes as part of the Coastal Hazards Adaptation Strategy.
We must make sure our adaptation strategies are good for the coast, good for our communities and financially viable. We can build things differently, move certain land uses away, or use nature, like mangroves, to support ecological solutions.
The main types of adaptation approaches include to avoid, retreat, accommodate and defend:
Figure 2: Adaptation responses (NCAARF, www.coastadapt.com.au)
Site specific adaptation options
Each locality in Cairns is different and will require its own unique ideas for the future. Some of the options we are considering include:
Dune revegetation and wetland restoration
Planting programs, fencing of vegetation management areas until habitat is re-established and encouraging natural rehabilitation processes to support coastal hazard rehabilitation while also improving biodiviersity.
Construction of artificial barriers, such as groynes and sea walls, which can be costly and are often viewed as a 'last line of defence'.
Changing planning and building controls and requirements
Amending zoning and development control regulations can minimise risks for new developments in coastal areas but requires careful consideration of the strategic role and value of the land.
Land swap and buy-back
This option involves acquiring private land for the purpose of managing and protecting coastlines
Land use transition and building relocation
If buildings and infrastructure is identified as being in a 'high-risk' area over time, an option might be to relocate or rebuild existing buildings in safer low-risk areas.
Have your say here
We thank you for sharing your views about the strategies Cairns should adopt to manage our changing coastline, now and into the future.
We encourage you to look at the mapping of coastal hazards that affect the area you are most interested in.
When you leave your comments, please let us know which area or suburb your comments relate to.
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