Wooli Beach Sand Management Strategy – using CoastSat data to inform management of the beach and offset risk.

Rick Plain

Royal HaskoningDHV


Wooli Beach has a long history of coastal instability and the village of Wooli is at significant risk from storm erosion and longer-term recession. The Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) prepared in 2016 recommended a Beach Management Strategy comprising periodic sand back-passing and supplementary beach scraping. The beach nourishment scheme is a short to medium term action intended to reduce, but not eliminate, risk of damage to assets due to storm erosion.

The Beach Management Strategy was informed by an updated coastal hazard analysis. The analysis involved a multiple lines of evidence approach that included a review of photogrammetry data and a CoastSat investigation. CoastSat is an innovative tool developed by Killian Vos at the Water Research Laboratory (WRL) that enables extraction of shoreline position time-series and behaviour at any coastline worldwide from 30+ years of satellite imagery. The coastal hazard analysis was beneficial in developing a strategy that ‘works with nature’ to achieve a cost effective and efficient outcome.


Rick Plain is a senior coastal engineer with Royal HaskoningDHV in Brisbane. Rick was the project manager for the Wooli Beach Management Strategy, which has been well received by the local community and Clarence Valley Council.