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26 Mar 2020

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Council briefings commence on long-term solution to erosion issues at Portrane

Portrane Coastal Erosion

Fingal County Council has commenced a series of live online information sessions with residents and business owners to brief them on the Coastal Flooding and Erosion Management Plan for Rogerstown Estuary.

Coastal flooding and erosion along the Rogerstown Estuary, which is an environmentally sensitive area,  is proving to be a difficult problem to resolve. The coastal system around the Rogerstown Estuary is intricate due to the large difference between high and low tides and the damage that waves, which approach from different angles, can cause. This threat has been increased significantly in recent years by the number of major storms that have coincided with high tide water levels in excess of four metres.  

Several years ago, the Council engaged specialist engineers from RPS to study the issues within the Rogerstown Estuary and prepare a plan for interim and long-term solutions.  This led to the installation of 1km of Seabee concrete units on the Burrow Beach in Portrane which have slowed down the rate of erosion.

Having examined all the long-term options to reduce the rate of erosion at Portrane, RPS have proposed the installation of specially designed Y-shaped groynes structures which will be complimented by a beach re-nourishment scheme in order to achieve a suitable beach level. The plan is to reduce incident wave energy along the coastline by limiting the prevailing water depth and thus mitigating the threat of erosion. The groynes will regulate the movement of sand across the beach and prevent the sand being stripped from the beach during a single storm event. This system is already in use at Clacton-on-Sea in England.

This solution is viewed as the option most likely to have the best impact in limiting the level of erosion and further details are available from the Rogerstown Coastal Flood and Erosion Risk Management Plan which can be viewed at https://consult.fingal.ie/en/consultation/coastal-defence-proposals-portrane-rush.

Fingal County Council is working in collaboration with the relevant State agencies, including the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), on this issue with the specialist engineers from RPS advising on the options for interim and long-term solutions.

The Council welcomes the establishment of the National Coastal Change Management Strategy Steering Group by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, TD. It has been tasked with considering the development of an integrated, whole of Government, coastal change strategy and is due to report to Government within six months with initial findings and recommendations.

Fingal County Council continues to work with residents and business owners affected by coastal erosion and flooding in the Rogertown Estuary and remains committed to delivering a long-term solution to the issues being caused by coastal change.  While acutely aware of the dilemma currently facing some householders and business owners in Portrane, research has shown that localised ad-hoc solutions to preventing coastal erosion do not work and actually cause the dunes to become more vulnerable to damage from storms.

 In 2016, Fingal County Council established The Fingal Coastal Liaison Group in response to the ongoing concerns in relation to Coastal Erosion and Coastal Flooding in Fingal and to meet the need for a coherent structured response to address these concerns and improve communication between relevant stakeholders. The Group provides a forum for discussion of the approaches to planning for and dealing with the problems of Coastal Erosion and Flooding and is made up of County Councillors, Council Officials and community members from each of the affected areas in Fingal which are Rush (North Beach and South Beach), Portrane and Sutton.

Information on how to attend one of the live online information events can be found at https://consult.fingal.ie/en/consultation/coastal-defence-proposals-portrane-rush

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