Middleton Beach

The Calm after the Storm - Aquarius Barrier at Middleton Beach

The second monthly service of the Aquarius Barrier was conducted before the long weekend and showed no damage or issues with the Aquarius Barrier, after two weeks of extreme winter weather on the South Coast. 

After further consultation with the community, the council, and the Albany Surf Life Saving Club, it was decided that we should introduce another SLSC access point and move the existing access point. There are now two access points marked with red floats, one at the back over near the rocks and the other in the surf zone near the beach. 

Middleton Beach Damage: The Facts

On the 15th March our Aquarius Barrier at Middleton Beach Albany was subject to near extreme storm conditions combined with an unprecedented influx of seagrass. The combination of these events led to a problem in the surf zone near the beach, where the seagrass does not have room to pass through due to the shallow depth, and where the ocean forces are most focussed. There was an enormous mass of seagrass that accumulated on the barrier and eventually broke through, causing a large tear and extended damage in a section.

The maintenance dive team immediately reduced the flotation on the barrier and stabilised with mooring ropes as we prepared for a replacement of the section. The team made significant engineering improvements to the barrier and particularly to the vertical strength that is critical for dealing with seagrass accumulation. 

In all, this is seen as a very positive experience in the trial of the Aquarius Barrier technology as it has allowed us to make the necessary improvements to account for all environmental variables. We expect all future Aquarius Barriers will feature these design improvements, including the Aquarius Barrier planned for Lennox Head. 

Seagrass Images:

3 ft wall of seagrass accumulated on Middleton Beach following strong easterly storm. 
Seagrass accumulation near beach tangling and tearing barrier.
Underwater view of rolling seagrass against barrier in deep water.

Global Marine Enclosures Awarded Tender for Eco-Friendly Shark Barrier at Middleton Beach, Albany

On Wednesday December 17, the City of Albany awarded the tender contract for the supply and installation of a swimming enclosure to Global Marine Enclosures. The successful tender was for a 310m eco-friendly shark barrier that will span from the rocks on Ellen Cove to the beach in front of the Surf Club.

The tender was established following a funding allocation from the WA State Government as the Western Australian shark management strategy, led by Colin Barnett, shifts from the shark culling trials towards protective swimming enclosures.  

The contract is on a 3 year trial basis which will allow the City of Albany an opportunity to assess whether it is an asset that benefits the local community. 

We are very excited about the announcement and aim to provide the highest level of service to the City of Albany and the Albany community not only for the installation of the barrier but for the entire lifespan of the barrier.

Read more here in the local Western Australian newspaper >>