Beach with no sand: Why Byron’s Main Beach is naked
BYRON BAY'S Main Beach and Clarkes beach remained closed yesterday after rough seas rendered the locations unsuitable for swimming.
Pandanus trees and other vegetation have fallen after erosion took large sections of the dunes at Clarkes Beach.
Main Beach was unrecognisable, covered in stones, debris, remains of trees and very little sand.
Over the weekend, local children from the nippers club at Byron Surf Life saving Club were forced to walk to Captain Cook Park or practice water safety at the local swimming pool.
Tourists and locals had to find another sandy area to sunbathe, although many just remained at the grassed area at Main Beach and enjoyed the view.
Byron Shire Council's Coastal Biodiversity and Sustainability co-ordinator, Chloe Dowsett, called on locals and visitors to find safer sports to swim at.
"As soon as this tide starts to decrease, the beach will start to clean up a little bit," she said.
"In the meantime, people may need to stay safe, there may be logs or other debris in the water so it may be better to find another beach in the area to swim at.
"Fortunately, we have some fantastic beaches on the Northern Rivers that are not affected by this."
The erosion in the area has uncovered sanding bags deployed in 1999, when the coastal erosion provoked a similar response from the State Government.
Crown Land has commissioned a number of workers to fill up hundreds of geo-bags of sand to rebuild Clarkes beach.
This has been done to protect The Beach Cafe, which was open as normal and full of customers today.
Ms Dowsett said it was impossible to know how long the lack of sand will last in Byron Bay.
"Until we get lots of sand into that area, the tide will be coming up quite high up the beach, and these days, medium to high tide attacks the base of the dunes directly," she said.
"We don't know (how long will this last for) and it's out of everybody's hands at the moment."
Sand bagging started at Clarkes Beach by contractors called in by Crown Lands, a project that is expected to take weeks to complete.