Beach Erosion and Nourishment in Gold Coast: Perceptions, Policies and Prospects
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The combination of ongoing urban development and forecasted impacts of the changing climate are projected to place many coastal areas at risk. One of the associated risks is beach erosion, and consequently, nourishment initiatives have become a costly sustainable development issue for local and state governments. For instance, the popular Palm Beach, a nearly four kilometres stretch of sandy beach on the southern Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia has been identified as being more susceptible to serious erosion than other beaches in the city. Consequently, the local council has spent millions of dollars on beach nourishment and is seeking ways to fund the initiative. In this context of coastal management, an exploratory pilot research project was undertaken to examine the question of - “how do local residents and tourists perceive the problem of beach erosion and to what extent are they willing to support beach nourishment initiatives”? Results of quantitative analyses of 68 face to face survey responses of beach goers (local residents and tourists) are outlined in terms of Willingness to Donate (WTD) framework. Findings indicate: a) more than three-quarters of respondents perceived beach nourishment as an important issue, b) local residents were more willing to volunteer towards beach nourishment, and c) tourists were more willing to donate money to work towards resolving the problem. The financial and policy implications of these findings in the context of beach nourishment are discussed.
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