Congratulations and thanks to all those involved in getting the new camera system operational on top of Wooli’s 30m high water tower. In particular Bob Stack, Russ Stephens, Leone Coper, Dr. Shaw Mead, Pete and Janet Dunn, Al Hanson, Frank Vaarwerk (CVC) and Scott Lenton (CVC).
As you can see from these first few pictures produced by our new beach surveillance system the results are stunning as they capture Wooli’s surf and beach conditions looking north, south and out to sea.
Also looking stunning, or maybe stunned, are Russ and Al who helped Dr. Shaw Mead from eCoast Marine with the 20 ascents needed to haul 130kgs of equipment up the tower then assemble and install it.
The system developed by eCoast comprises 3 high definition cameras, a computer and custom software plus solar panels and heavy duty batteries.
It may look small peeking out between its Telstra and Optus neighbours but CCPA’s tower-cam is doing a big job.
The system is recording hourly images which are uploaded to an internet server where they are processed to give a bird’s-eye view looking straight down on the beach. This data will be analysed to produce a regular report describing and quantifying changes in the beach position.
This report, along with the beach survey data being produced by Brian Saye and his team are important steps in CCPA’s research programme aimed at understanding and quantifying the processes shaping our beach. This data, plus the underwater mapping which is now being planned will provide the basis for developing the Wooli Beach Protection Strategy.
We need this strategy to argue successfully against the current draft plan which is based on a handful of point-in-time aerial photographs taken over the last 70 years. Further the darft plan does not take into account the vast amount of sand in the Wooli beach system, natural cycles (eg El Nino/lLa Nina ) and the impact of human activities.
The $20,000 CCPA has invested for the implementation of tower-cam is a lot for a small community to raise but excellent value compared to other options at around $80,000. With the beach survey also being funded by CCPA, Council’s application to the State government for funding of tower-cam’s annual operating cost ($5-7,000) was an encouraging sign of reciprocation. We look forward to increasing cooperation with CVC as the substantial underwater mapping stage is undertaken.