Surf breaks are a rare and delicate coastal features which are often close to coastal developments that threaten their very existence. Just last year 17 surf breaks of national significance were protected by law under Policy 16 of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010. Of these protected, only 5 are in the South Island, three of which are within Dunedin City boundaries, being Karitane, Whareakeake and Aramoana.
Aramoana, also known as ‘The Spit’ is a world class beach break of exceptional quality due to its clean offset peaks and barreling pits held in a variety of swell sizes and directions. It is also one of the only offshore breaks in the prevailing southerly winds around Dunedin.
Dumping of spoil in the swell corridor of the Aramoana/Spit surf break from harbour dredging by Port of Otago has been affecting the delicate bathymetric conditions that contribute to the high class surfbale wave since 1985. Surfers and bodyboarders have noted a gradual deterioration of wave quality over the years, especially of late, and fear that continued dumping of dredged spoil may cause irreversible adverse effects on the wave quality.
A recent resource consent application by Port of Otago has been lodged to continue dumping spoil at the Aramoana/Spit, Heywards Point and Shelley beach dumpsites, with the intention of much greater volumes than have been placed there in the last 10 years.
It is felt that not enough accurate science has been presented by the Port in the applications for consent renewal, and we are asking that independent specialist ‘surf science’ monitoring be conducted immediately prior to any further dumping. Please also check out the response to request for further information.
This ‘Surfer Paddle Out’ on the 16th of October 2011 is a national event organised by Surfbreak Protection Society, with simultaneous paddle outs being held that day at many of the other 17 protected surf breaks around New Zealand, as well as popular surf breaks in city areas.
This Paddle Out event demonstrates the national groundswell of concerned surf break users, and our desires to have these natural coastal features protected from developments and activities that continue to threaten their existence, despite legal protection policies. Once they are destroyed they are gone forever, and in this era of declining natural resources and threats to our pristine landscapes and seascapes, these surf breaks face equivalent pressures for their futures.
Please show your support by participating in the paddle out on your surfboard, bodyboard, paddlesurfer etc.
Sign the Online Petition form here.
An Aramoana Appreciation Beach Festival & Concert is being organised for late November, so please keep an eye out for this unique and positive event.