Sand nourishment reaches fruition as turtle’s return
Loggerhead turtles are returning to Oaks Beach at Burnett Heads after the finalisation of a sand nourishment project in the area.
The Sea Turtle Alliance (STA), Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC), Bundaberg Regional Council (BRC) and Department of Environment and Science worked collaboratively to implement the successful project which has seen 50 cubic meters of sand relocated to the beach.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said Oaks Beach received the second highest number of loggerhead nesting turtles in the Bundaberg region after Mon Repos.
“This has been a great collaborative project that will help protect this precious endangered species,” Ms Enoch said.
“Following the work, which has involved restoration of sand dunes and native vegetation, we have already seen turtles coming to nest on the beach, which is wonderful.”
Sea Turtle Alliance member Carly Sugars said Oaks Beach receives a high number of Loggerhead nesting turtles every year.
“Several years ago a portion of the beach was subject to erosion which caused a depression behind the frontal dune, reducing the turtle nest hatching success,” Ms Sugars said.
“GPC provided the sand used to fill the depression in the dunes as well as the necessary earthmoving machinery to transport the sand to the beach and spread the sand in the dunes.
“By increasing the area of suitable turtle nesting beach, this project provides benefits to long term monitoring and conservation programs for the endangered loggerhead turtle.”
GPC Port of Bundaberg Manager Jason Pascoe said GPC was proud to have supported the project.
“It is fantastic to see such a positive outcome for such an important program,” Mr Pascoe said.
“As a Bundaberg resident myself I think it is wonderful to see the conservation of an endangered species and I am really proud to have been a part of this project.”
The revitalised beach area is now suitable to be used for around 60 turtle nests during nesting season.
Caption: Photo attributed to Chris Van.