Article Index


Innovation programs on the Gold Coast – The City of Gold Coast - protecting our Coast

What’s the Gold Coast without its coast? Although there’s much more to our city than its beaches, our stunning coastline gives our city its identity. We live and work along the coast, we play on the coast, our coastline protects us, and it supports a rich variety of coastal and marine wildlife.

The city’s coastline extends from Point Danger in the south to Jumpinpin at the northern end of South Stradbroke Island. History has shown that this iconic coastline is also a dynamic one. The sandy littoral zone - the area from shoreline to just beyond the wave breaker zone - is the city’s frontline against powerful wave action that is intensified during extreme weather events. Such wave action determines the shape and state of our beaches and coast.

The significant economic, social and environmental benefits and services provided by our coastal areas means that coastal management is a serious and important issue for Council and the community.

The City of Gold Coast has established a number of educational videos related to the surf and beach and can be viewed via this link -

Modifications to the coastal zone over time, including the construction of public and private infrastructure very close to the coastline, has exposed the city to significant risk from a dynamic and high energy ocean. These risks are compounded by the predicted impacts of climate change on the Gold Coast, where the coasts vulnerability has been observed during intense weather events through the 1960s to 1970s. An urbanised coastline also results in continual risk of pollution from hard rubbish and stormwater, both of which can have significant effects on water quality and wildlife.
The Council of the City of Gold Coast has been a leader in coastal management for more than 50 years, driven by the need to protect the city and its shoreline from the impacts of storms. Active management including beach nourishment, seawall construction, improving access to beaches, beach cleaning, dune restoration and sand bypassing all contribute to protecting the coastal environment.

Find out about the cities programs and activities here:

City of Gold Coast Universities and Research Organisations

  • Griffith University – Griffith Centre for Coastal Management

The Griffith Centre for Coastal Management, aims to develop broad research and training agendas for coastal management. Griffith works in partnership with the City of the Gold Coast to improve and develop new best practices. This research is highly relevant to the sustainable management of urban environments in coastal areas, particularly in the city of Gold Coast.


The Centre’s researchers are uniquely qualified in their respective fields and the major projects are grouped under five strategic research programs:

For further information: 


Tweed River Sand Bypass Project

The Tweed Sand Bypassing Project is a joint initiative of the New South Wales and Queensland State Governments. The project's objectives are to establish and maintain a safe, navigable entrance to the Tweed River and restore and maintain the coastal sand drift to the beaches on the southern Gold Coast of Queensland. 

The project periodically dredges sand that accumulates at the Tweed River entrance which is also transported to southern Gold Coast beaches. The system is designed to transport the natural quantities of sand that move northwards along the coast. More about the project.


Gold Coast Narrowneck Beach Artificial Reef

In a bid to protect one of the Coast's most valuable assets - our beaches - the Gold Coast City Council has implemented an award winning major coastal protection strategy.

The $9 million Northern Gold Coast Beach Protection Strategy identified the following objectives:

  • widen the beach and dunes along the Surfers Paradise Esplanade to increase the volume of sand within the storm buffer and provide additional public open space
  • improve surf quality at Narrowneck by the construction of a submerged reef to stabilise the nourished beaches


More than 1.1 million cubic meters of sand has been dredged from the Broadwater and deposited on Surfers Paradise beaches - 1.1 million cubic meters would fill a football field to a depth of 220 metres. The Narrowneck Artificial Reef is intended as an off-shore defence mechanism against beach erosion, but also aims to improve surfing conditions at Narrowneck Beach.

Complex mathematics and laboratory testing of combinations of tides, wave heights and direction were used to develop the reef to enhance surfing conditions.


For further information on this project -


City of Gold Coast support for innovation

The business and industry engagement team is part of the City of Gold Coast’s Economic Development branch. The team proactively works to develop a sustainable Gold Coast economy, strengthening our city’s business capabilities through business engagement and industry development initiatives.

The Gold Coast Innovation Ecosystem depicts the innovation hubs, events, research, investors and grants and meetups that are happening on the Gold Coast.

To view all the programs that the Economic Development team can assist with please visit this link and download the Business Services flyer:

The Gold Coast Innovation Ecosystem map can be seen below and shows the way that the city works to grow economic output using technology as a driver. The surf industry forms part of this ecosystem by ustilising programs and connecting to research within the pathways shown below.


Coastal Care Groups and initiatives