Values of dunes and dune vegetation

Values beach access 340 x 255 1

Cultural values

Ocean coasts are both resource rich and important landmarks. Many coastal dune networks have significant First Nations cultural value as cultural landscapes, past and current resource use and archeological sites.

Amenity values

Vegetated, healthy dunes are an important component of Noosa’s natural coastal backdrop. They contribute to our natural amenity and feel and add cooling breezes to our urban areas.

Biodiversity values

Many native plants and animals live in coastal dunes, some in combinations that occur nowhere else. Dunes are wildlife habitat and corridors that allow animals to move through otherwise urban areas. Sea turtles rely on the front dune slopes to lay their eggs out of the reach of high tides.

Values healthy dune understory

Healthy dune understory

Dunes buffer coasts

Vegetated dunes play a vital role in sustaining our coasts in the face of wind and wave activity. This is especially important as climate change progresses, causing sea level rises and increasing the number and intensity of storms. Healthy dunes buffer the coast and can reduce flooding, wind, and storm surge impacts.

Dunes help beaches

Sloping, healthy dunes help keep sand on our beaches. Waves run-out on the natural slope, reducing the amount of energy it has to lift and carry sand away. And steep dune faces left after storms soon slump, quickly returning the back of the beach to a more natural slope. Dunes are a source of sediment for off-shore bars that develop after storms, that then act as a local source of sediment to rebuild beaches and frontal dunes. 

Dune vegetation protects dunes

Dune vegetation slows the wind near the surface of the dune and allows sand to drop out of the air. It reduces wind and wave impacts on the dunes, reducing erosion and the movement of sand from the coast towards the inland

Dune vegetation rebuilds dunes

Dunes in good condition means that there are sources of seeds and runners nearby to recolonise disturbed areas after storm events. Vegetation acts as an entrapment point, allowing the lodgment of sand and seeds that contribute to the rebuilding and revegetation of frontal dunes after disturbance.

How you can help

Protect vegetation on dunes - including trees, shrubs and ground covers: Avoid all unauthorised pruning, cutting, breaking, pulling, poisoning, mowing and clearing of any vegetation on the dunes.

Be a good foreshore neighbour

More information

The NSW Government has produced a Coastal Dune Management Manual

See Mackay Council's great fact sheet on Coastal Vegetation.

Pontoon: The Polystyrene ‘White Spill’ Disaster

This short film explores the impact of the polystyrene pollution that occured along Noosa's eastern beaches during severe weather and flooding in February/March 2022.

18 large polystyrene pontoons washed north from Brisbane during the weather event came ashore on Noosa’s east coast beaches.

The large, waterlogged pontoons, comprised of concrete, polystyrene and plastic, were extremely difficult to remove.

Tonnes of polystyrene spread across beaches, creating the ‘White Spill’ pollution disaster.

Through interviews, media coverage and local footage, the film includes many perspectives to arrive at some key lessons learned.