NORTHERN RIVERS beaches have suffered major erosion from days of big seas and winds gusting up to 130km/h.
Beaches around Byron Bay, including Belongil and Tallow, are some of the worst affected.
Helen Brown, of the Suffolk Park Dune Care group, said the situation was 'not good'.
“The beaches have been eroded back about 20 or 30 metres and fences have been taken out,” she said. “The force of the sea was just so strong. It will take a long time for the sand to come back.”
Clarks Beach Dune Care spokesman Veda Turner said the beach had been protected from the wild weather, but that Tallow and Belongil beaches were 'really degraded'.
“Anywhere that was exposed to the north-east has been extensively eroded,” he said.
The northern end of Angels Beach at Ballina was also hit hard by the pounding waves, and beaches at Lennox Head have been eroded.
However, Lennox Head Landcare spokesman Malcolm Milner said the damage was not as bad as he expected.
“Boulder Beach hasn't lost that much sand, but it's fairly rocky,” he said.
“Seven Mile Beach has lost up to 20 metres or more of the dunes in some places. Walking tracks have been damaged and the 4WD access tracks are also damaged.
“There are some drop-offs of about two to three metres.”
Mr Milner said it was increasingly important to protect dunes along the coast.
“Coastal hazard studies show that with sea level rises, we need very healthy beaches and vegetated dunes to resist storm damage,” he said.
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