The Directors of Sanctuary Beach have conducted hundreds of consultancies.



TA 4965-IND: Sustainable Coastal Protection and Management Project: India


• Purpose: Design of environmentally-friendly coastal protection measures to support the preparation of the “Sustainable Coastal Protection and Management Project” in the states of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

• Sponsor: Asian Development Bank (ADB), undertaken by Prof Black and Dr Mathew with a large Indian support team

• Description: The Government of India requested Technical Assistance (TA) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to prepare a project for Sustainable Coastal protection and Management. The TA was to support the Government’s National Coastal Protection Project (NCPP) by assisting the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Goa in preparing technically, economically, environmentally and socially viable investment proposals to address coastal erosion and introduce procedures for sustainable coastal protection and shoreline management. The TA programme designed 5 site specific coastal protection measures (Ullal, Karnataka, Colva, Goa, Coco, Goa, Utroda-Majorda, Goa and Mirya Bay, Maharahstra) based on detailed coastal process studies, environmental and social impact assessments, institutional and financial impact analyses. The consulting services were provided through a team of international and national consultants.
Based on the TA studies, a multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) for the Sustainable Coastal Protection and Management Investment Program (SCPMIP) was approved by ADB on 29 September 2010 for an amount of $250 million to be implemented over a period of 8 years. The investment programme is designed to facilitate the transition from hard rock protection solution with softer coastal protection solutions, which are environmentally appropriate and sustainable.



Multipurpose Reef at Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram District , Kerala, India



• Purpose: Design of an offshore multi-purpose reef for sustainable coastal protection, improved ecology and tourism.

• Sponsor: Government of Kerala, undertaken by Prof Black and Dr Mathew with a large Indian support team.

• Description: In response to the increasing occurrences of beach erosion along the Kerala coast, the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala in association with the Harbour Engineering Department has implemented a submerged multi-purpose reef at Kovalam to protect the beach from erosion while simultaneously achieving other enhancements such as enhanced ecology, healthy sporting activities and maintaining the beauty of the beach for tourists and the many residents who live along the foreshore. After substantial investigations and consultations, a site-specific coastal protection option, a “multipurpose submerged reef” was designed with due consideration for sustainability, environmental, ecological, and social aspects.

Construction of the Kovalam multi-purpose reef - India’s first multi-purpose reef - started in December 2009 and was completed by February 2010. The reef was constructed using non-woven geotextile containers filled with sand. A total of 28 sand-filled geocontainers (each weighing about 300 tonnes) were individually placed on the sea bed in a carefully arranged, single layer configuration. There has been substantial monitoring of the reef project since its completion including beach profile and fishery surveys. The project has met its objectives.

The Kovalam multipurpose reef proved to be a far-reaching and influential project which changed the way beaches are managed forever. The seminal project has come to the limelight of coastal protection and coastal zone management agencies in India including the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), Govt. of India, Coastal Protection Development Advisory Committee (CPDAC), research and academic institutions, tour operators and has attracted many national and international visitors to the site. Coastal protection agencies and researchers from other maritime states have visited the Kovalam reef site to replicate similar projects in their state and the implementation of similar projects in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra and Ullal, Karnataka are in advanced stages. We acknowledge the many people who helped with this project.




Marine EIA Beach Improvement works, Seychelles



• Purpose: Emirates Airlines wished to develop and enhance the beach and embayment for a proposed resort at Baie Ternay, in western Seychelles.

• Sponsor: Emirates Airlines and Mirage Resorts

• Description: Proposed marine works include the construction of boating and swimming channels and a higher quality beach. Currently, the site is partially muddy and very shallow. Beach profiling (Arup Sigma) shows a very narrow beach face (6% or 1:14). Moreover, the interior of the Bay is shallow, being exposed at low tide for up to 380 m from the shoreline. This wide sand platform is not suitable for swimming or boating. To deepen this region will require dredging of channels and the beach will need re-alignment, construction of structures and nourishment. The project is yet to be implemented.



Channel Sedimentation Investigation: Touessrok Resort, Mauritius

• Purpose: To find better solutions for maintenance of channels and the swimming area in a 5-star resort.

• Sponsor: Sun Resorts Ltd.

• Description: Le Touessrok Resort in Mauritius has beautiful white sand beaches which are popular with guests. However, these same sands are causing infilling of the channels between the “Island” accommodation and mainland. Maintenance dredging was tested by the Resort in 2012, but the channels rapidly filled with sand over a very short period of 3-6 months. The resort owners turned to Arup Sigma with Sanctuary Beach to find a better long-term solution. The study considered the sedimentary environment, historical sand movement and likely consequences of further maintenance dredging or alternative works.


Recommendations providing alternative solutions for Sun Resorts Ltd were identified including construction of a seawater, natural-sand pool which blended with the Resort’s existing facilities. We acknowledge the care and interest of the Touessrok Resort management.





La Balise Marina: Sedimentary Investigation, Mauritius

• Purpose: To recommend better dredging practices at the Marina.

• Sponsor: Dolphin Coast Marina Estates Ltd.

• Description: The La Balise Marina is a development of quality homes with artificially-created canals and marinas at the Black River, Mauritius. This property development is worth an estimated total value of 4.7 billion rupees (about 120 million Euros). Mr Derick Steinhobel of Arup Sigma Ltd was asked to review the marine works and channels. He identified several issues of concern and the client asked Prof Black to provide further insight. Recommendations were made about maintenance dredging and improved methods of dredging and handling of muds.

• Year of completion: May 2013



Field studies and numerical modelling to support the design of a major desalination plant in Victoria, Australia.


Client: GHD and State Government Victoria

Main Project Features: Victoria was struggling with drought water shortages and so the government chose to develop a desalination plant. Under Victorian, regulations, substantial studies had to be undertaken including 2 years of field data collection (currents, waves, sediment etc.), laboratory studies and one of the world’s most comprehensive and technical modelling studies. The models simulated from micro-scales around the saline outfall, to the entire Victoria coast to assess impacts on marine life, phytoplankton, dilutions, diffuser design and coastal impacts. Prof Black and his team were the sole providers for the marine studies and they led one of the largest studies ever undertaken in the State of Victoria. The resource consent for the desalination plant was granted without appeals.

Activities Performed: Field investigations, laboratory studies and computer modelling.


Year: 2010


Development of hydrodynamic and primary production models to define Aquaculture Management Areas and determine the impacts of large scale aquaculture in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Client: Environment Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

Description of the project: As new legislation developed in New Zealand following the Aquaculture Management Act of 2001, our consultants were chosen to identify the present state of the Bay of Plenty in primary production terms through a detailed field programme and computer modelling. The project identified a wide range of factors likely to arise from potential development and operation of offshore aquaculture in the Bay of Plenty. Surveys worked to establish a present-day snap-shot of the Bay in geological, hydrodynamic, nutrient, ecological, and socio-economic terms. Calibrated numerical models were established to simulate the dynamics within the Bay of Plenty including primary production and nutrient cycling. Proposed mussel farms were simulated under a wide variety of scenarios to test the feasibility of sustained aquaculture amidst the variability of future climate change.

Main activities: Planning and execution of field programmes, numerical modelling and reporting, and interaction with government, Iwi and local stakeholders, monitoring environmental health within the Bay of Plenty, provide wave forecasts to local authorities, and consult with concerned parties and stake-holders as developments occur. Our thanks go to Peter Longdill who played an important role in this project.




Water quality improvement models as a decision support tool for the environmental protection Authority in Victoria, Australia


Client: EPA Victoria; Melbourne Water, Australia
Description of the project: Our consultants were chosen to develop and integrate a receiving water quality model for use by the Victorian EPA which was able to simulate the marine dynamics of the receiving waters of the Port Phillip and Western Port Bay catchments. A four-fold coupling of catchment hydrographic, marine hydrodynamics, Lagrangian particle dispersal, and primary production models were linked together to create a broad “water quality model” for use as a dynamic decision support tool. The water quality model is able to address critical issues within the two bays at a wide range of spatial resolutions. The receiving water model includes input from 50 rivers and drains within the catchment able tracks the movement of river loads such as suspended sediment, toxicants, pathogens, and nutrients. The level of sophistication of the water quality models rivals any in the world utilizing fully stratified 3-dimensional hydrodynamics including atmospheric-heat exchange and remote-sensing satellite-aided “corrective-steering” schemes. Our extensive experience with modelling coastal processes coupled with the freedom and usability of custom-written software packages were major factors which allowed us to achieve the project goals. We thank Dr Randall Lee for his extensive participation in the project.

Main activities: Numerical modeling, set-up of the numerical models and training of EPA staff to operate them in-house.




Noosa Foreshore Erosion Prevention, Noosa, Australia


Client: Noosa Shire Council

Main Project Features: Noosa is one of Australia’s most pristine beaches with a major tourism industry based around the foreshore. The beach has been eroding for 3 decades and the Council have placed over $10 million of new sand to maintain the beaches but the sand keeps washing away. The project requirements were to develop a nearshore soft coastal system, including a geotextile reef.

Activities Performed: Coastal Process Studies, Numerical Modelling and Submerged Berm Design. The designed offshore reef solution is yet to be constructed. We thank the engineering department of Noosa Shire Council for their valued input.



Heavy Mineral Budgeting and Management at Chavara, Kerala, India



• Purpose: Studies to provide insight into the volumes of sediment being brought inshore by natural wave and current processes.

• Sponsor: Indian Rare Earths Ltd., Mumbai, undertaken by Prof Black and Dr Mathew with a large Indian support team.

• Description: Sand mining of the rich minerals in the black beaches of Kerala is very important to the local economy and so sustainability without causing beach erosion is an essential prerequisite. To fully understand the environmental issues, the client sought advice from Sanctuary Beach consultants. This was a 3-year program including technical field measurements, scientific data analyses and numerical modelling of beaches and the inner shelf. 2D and 3D computer models were used to determine the volumes of sand arriving at the mining sites by natural processes so that detailed sand budgets could be established for a sustainable industry. The study also gave a detailed understanding of the hydrodynamic processes of the southwest coast of India, particularly the annual beach erosion and accretion patterns. Based on the study outcomes, five research papers were published in international journals. We would like to thank our scientific friends at the Centre for Earth Science Studies in Trivandrum, Kerala.





Gold Coast Coastal Protection and Surfing Reef (Australia)



• Studies to design the world’s first coastal protection and surfing reef.

• Gold Coast City Council.

• The Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise economies are based on beach tourism and associated tourist infrastructure. Consequently, the beaches are nurtured and maintained by nourishment and well planned construction. The Gold Coast Reef project involved designing the world’s first offshore reef to amalgamate coastal protection with surfing, diving, swimming, windsurfing and other water sports. The design of Prof Black won the State’s Environmental Award in 2000. The award was shared between the designers, construction team and the Gold Coast City council.


Independent Expert Group, Channel Dredging, Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia

Client: State Government of Victoria
Main Project Features: The Port of Melbourne wished to deepen the entrance channels into Port Phillip Bay to allow the entry of large container ships. Prof Black was chosen to sit on the 5-person “Independent Expert Group (IEG)” which had the role of assessing and approving all technical studies. Over $70 million was spent by the government on scientific assessments. The IEG was responsible for determining if the work was satisfactory, accurate and providing sufficient knowledge to enable the project to proceed. The IEG was granted key powers as the members sat between the consultants, government and public in what proved to be a highly controversial and complex project over a 3 year period. The project went forward and environmental monitoring is still underway. Prof Black acknowledges the input from other advisers on the Panel.

Activities Performed: Adviser on Marine Physical Impacts



Sustainable Coastal Protection and Management Project II


Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, India

Client: Asian Development Bank

Description of the project: Formulate a range of coastal protection interventions appropriate for different coastal zones of India.

Main activities: Technical support to identify prospective sub-project sites and assist the mission leader with the concept paper. Field visits were conducted to examine critical erosion sites in the two selected states of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, assessment of the performance and efficiency of exiting coastal protection structures in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat and conducted stakeholder discussions


Wairoa beach erosion and development strategy, Bay of Islands, New Zealand


Client: Mountain Landing Properties, Auckland, New Zealand.

Description of the project: The purpose of the study was to seek an optimum solution that amalgamates requirements for coastal protection, boat ramp and jetty in a fashion that is sensitive to natural character, archaeological value, boating needs and coastal planning

Main activities: Field investigations to identify the physical processes that control the sediment and shoreline dynamics through numerical computer model studies. The optimum position of a structure with minimal environmental impacts was recommended. The study also provided long-term management options for the protection of the beach from coastal erosion. We acknowledge ASR Ltd for their assistance.


Port Gisborne Expansion (NZ)



• Studies for resource consents to expand the Port of Gisborne (NZ)

• Port Gisborne Ltd.

• Port Gisborne Ltd are continually confronting major increases in trade through forestry exports. This requires deepening of their shipping channels and more berths. The study involved a detailed assessment of waves, currents and sediment movement in Poverty Bay and the port environs. This sophisticated study used a broad range of field measurements and numerical modelling techniques.


A new port design was recommended with the entrance located in deeper water and shorter shipping channels. This study extended over more than 5 years. We thank Prof Terry Healy (University of Waikato), Ben Tahata (Port Manager) and Bevan Turnpenny (Turnpenny Associates) for their role in this complex multi-disciplinary study.

More recently, Sanctuary Beach has successfully undertaken/won the following contracts:

• “Bubble” The Nutrient, Phytoplankton, Zooplankton and Fish Recruitment (NPZ-F) Numerical Model, Australia, undertaken for the Australian Research Council and Melbourne Water.

• Sustainable Coastal Protection and Management Investment Programme (SCPMIP) – Tranche 1: Mirya Bay Beach Nourishment, India.

• Design and Assistance in Implementation of Puducherry Beach Restoration Project , India.

• Climate-Resilient Coastal Protection and Management Project, India (Financed by the Global Environment Facility) and administered by Asian Development Bank (ADB).



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