Navigating the Environmental Impacts of Beach Driving

NACC NRM’s Coastcare Support Officer Dr Mic Payne recently featured on ABC Landline, discussing the impacts of four wheel drive vehicle use on our coastline and ecosystems.

Dr Payne spoke to ABC Producer Chris Lewis about the correlation between an increase in four wheel drive sales and the rising popularity of beach driving. With this significant boom in beach traffic comes impacts on our coastlines, its ecosystems, and the many species that inhabit sand dunes and shores.

Watch the ABC Landline video here.

Read the full write up by Chris Lewis here.

Photo credit ABC Midwest and Wheatbelt: Chris Lewis

Growth in the quantity and frequency of beach drivers also affects the complex structure of sand dunes, which play a pivotal role in protecting infrastructure from coastal erosion. Maintaining a delicate balance between ocean-based sediment and land-based sediment is important in the position of shorelines. Four wheel driving disrupts this balance by establishing tracks that ‘lock in’ and prevent dunes from moving toward the ocean over time, a natural process that helps to expand dune area. Over time, driving tracks cut back into the dunes, destablising the coast and dismantling both existing vegetation and developing vegetation.

There are many examples of successful sand dune rehabilitation programs along the coast of the Northern Agricultural Region, and several groups who work extensively to make a positive difference. Contact your local group to get involved!

Batavia Coastcare Network | Birdlife Midwest-Geraldton | Cervantes Progress Association | Drummond’s Cove Coastcare | Friends of Lancelin Coast | Friends of Moore River Estuary | Green Head Coastcare | Houtman Abrolhos Conservation Network | Jurien Bay Progress Association | Kalbarri Boardriders Association | Ledge Point Coastcare Group | Point Moore Coastcare | Tending the Tracks Alliance | Wedge Island Protection Association | Wedge WA | WA Coastal & Marine Network | WA Landcare Network | WA Seabird Conservation Network

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