Coastal management


The Gold Coast is one of Australia's most iconic coastal cities. We have a 52-kilometre coastline, extending from Point Danger at the New South Wales border to Jumpinpin on South Stradbroke Island.

Our coast provides significant economic, social and environmental benefits, making coastal management a serious and important issue for us all.

Issues and impacts

Our coastline is affected by:

Longshore drift

The movement of sand plays a fundamental role in creating and shaping our coastal environment. Driven by waves, longshore drift transports sediment, mainly sand, from New South Wales up the coast to form our beaches and sand islands.

Wave action

Wave action determines the shape and state of our beaches and coast. The impacts intensify during extreme weather events. The area from shoreline to just beyond the wave breaker zone (sandy littoral zone) is our frontline against powerful wave action.

Natural disasters

Cyclones, tsunamis and storm surges affect not just our coastal development and recreational amenity, but also the ecosystems of our coast.

Coastal infrastructure

Much of our coastline is highly urbanised. Constructing and modifying infrastructure close to the coastline has exposed our city to significant risk from a dynamic and high energy ocean. There is also the continual risk of pollution from hard rubbish and stormwater that can have significant effects on water quality and wildlife.

Climate change

Current risks such as sea level rise, storm tide inundation and coastal erosion are compounded by the predicted impacts of climate change.


We manage the coastal zone in line with Commonwealth, State and Local Government laws and policies.

We also have complementary plans and strategies to deliver a coordinated approach to coastal management. These include:

  • Ocean Beaches Strategy – an overarching plan that guides the management, protection and enhancement of our beaches. It aims to make sure our beaches are clean, healthy, safe and accessible for everyone.
  • Surf Management Plan – an action plan which includes best practice management of our world-renowned surf breaks.
  • Coastal Adaptation Plan – identifies and addresses risks from the predicted impacts of climate change.

Caring for our coastline involves working with our partners and the community. We collaborate with external agencies including:

Learn more about how we care for our coastline.