Nature-based coastal defence

6 June 2019

The Port Phillip & Westernport CMA is excited to be supporting the University of Melbourne to develop sustainable methods to protect our coastal communities from erosion.

One way this may be possible is to use natural habitats to reduce wave height and accumulate sand. Engineers at the university have developed a world-first field trial of temperate mangroves grown in purpose-designed pods to help coastal protection.

210 pods have been installed along Port Phillip Bay’s western shoreline at Altona Coastal Park, as well as 210 in Grantville and 105 on the Lang Lang foreshore in Western Port. All of these sites are part of internationally-significant Ramsar wetlands.

The planter pods have been designed to reduce wave energy to help the small mangroves grow. As the mangroves get bigger, they can naturally reduce wave height and accumulate sediment themselves, protecting the foreshore from erosion.

The project also aims to engage with local communities and stakeholders to promote awareness of nature-based coastal defences compared to traditional solutions.

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