The Dells eco-reef port phillip bay

The Association of Bayside Municipalities recently held a Walk & Talk field trip to see The Dell Eco-Reef at Clifton Springs, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Climate Change Action and Greater Geelong City Council.

Attendees across local government, State Government, committees of management, Traditional Owner Groups and community organisations walked into the water at low tide to view and learn more about the nature based coastal management in Port Phillip Bay.

Located at Clifton Springs on the Bellarine Peninsula approximately 20km east of Geelong, The Dell beach experiences seasonal erosion.

The Dells eco-reef Port Phillip Bay

Photo: Ralph Roob (Greater Geelong City Council)

There are two terminal scours, one associated with a rock revetment and rocks in the intertidal zone – remnants of groynes constructed about 50 years ago, and the other with a small rock headland and with historic mineral spring ruins.

A semi-submersible breakwater in the form of an artificial reef has recently been constructed offshore led by Greater Geelong City Council in partnership with Reef Design Lab and the National Centre for Coasts and Climate (University of Melbourne).    

The eco-reef is an artificial reef made up of a series of modular reef pods that form a permeable barrier designed to reduce the height and energy of waves. This provides coastal erosion protection during storm surges, supporting sand accretion while also providing habitat for native oysters, seagrass, fish, and marine invertebrates. 

The pods are designed to reflect the shape and form of the holdfast (base) of a kelp plant and are made from recyclable or eco-friendly materials.

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