Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP)

The City has approximately 7km of coastline, including iconic beaches. The vulnerability of assets within the Western Australian coastal zone to coastal hazards such as erosion and inundation is expected to increase in the future. To reduce the impact on coastal areas and assets, the City has developed a Coastal Hazard and Risk Management Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP).

In preparation for the CHRMAP, the City consulted extensively with the community and stakeholders to identify high priority assets and considerations for our precious coastline. The CHRMAP provides strategic guidance for coordinated, integrated and sustainable land use planning and management and is a long-term plan that informs the City’s future decision making with the aim of making the coastline more resilient to coastal hazards.


What is a Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP)?

A CHRMAP is a strategic planning document that outlines management and adaptation pathways for areas and assets at risk of coastal hazards, such as erosion and inundation (flooding). Assets include both built and natural assets, which provide a range of values to the community, including social, environmental, economic and heritage values. 

CHRMAPs provide the basis for planning instruments such as Local Planning Schemes, Local Structure Plans and Foreshore Management Plans, by presenting the context around existing and future coastal vulnerability and the framework for managing associated risk.

The CHRMAP is required under the State’s Coastal Planning Policy (SPP2.6), under the Planning and Development Act 2005. The CHRMAP provides long term strategic direction, while identifying risk and required decision making in the shorter term.

What is the purpose of a CHRMAP?

The purpose of a CHRMAP is to:

  • Set the framework for the assessment, by identifying coastal hazards (erosion and to a basic degree inundation), analysing vulnerability for specific assets, identifying and prioritising management and adaptation responses, and providing an implementation plan; 
  • Inform the community and stakeholders about potential coastal hazard risks; identify community and stakeholders’ values as well as key coastal infrastructure and assets at risk; and provide a clear pathway for the City of Stirling to address coastal hazard risks over time; and 
  • Provide strategic guidance for coordinated, integrated and sustainable land use planning and management decision-making by the City of Stirling, including any necessary changes to the City of Stirling Local Planning Strategy, Local Planning Scheme and other relevant strategies and local planning policies.

Why has the City of Stirling prepared a CHRMAP?

The vulnerability of assets within the Western Australian coastal zone to coastal hazards such as erosion and inundation is expected to increase in the future due to sea level rise resulting from climate change. 

In 2019, Watermans Bay and Mettams Pool were included on the list of the state Coastal Erosion Hotspots prepared by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and the Department of Transport. A range of public foreshore amenities were found to be prone to erosion hazard in the near to medium term (within 0 to 25 years), while large sections of public infrastructures assets such as the recreational shared use path, section of West Coast Drive and associated services (gas, power, water) were found to be at high risk due to coastal erosion in the medium to long term (as early as 2045).  

Investigations were undertaken by the City to determine the extent of rock formations partially visible along the foreshore. 

The City has identified the need to engage specialist land use planning, community consultation and engagement, coastal engineering and economics consultants to review and update existing relevant studies to produce a CHRMAP for the study area in accordance with the CHRMAP Guidelines and SPP2.6, that were adopted by the City and used to guide future decision making for vulnerable assets in its coastal zone. 

How does a CHRMAP affect me?

If you visit, live, work or recreate near the City of Stirling coastline, the CHRMAP will affect you and future generations.

What is coastal vulnerability?

Coastal vulnerability is the extent that an area of coastline is susceptible to effects such as erosion, storms and ongoing sea level rise. It is assessed by combining:

  • Exposure – the likelihood of impact;
  • Sensitivity – the consequence if impact occurs; and
  • Adaptive capacity – the ease with which assets or areas can adapt to the hazard.

Coastal areas that are exposed, sensitive and less able to adapt are the most vulnerable.

Storm waves at North Beach Jetty

Coastal hazards

Coastal hazards have the potential to impact coastal areas and assets. They have always existed along our coastlines. Coastal hazards are not necessarily associated with climate change, but they will be exacerbated by sea level rise in the future.

Erosion is the main coastal hazard impacting the City of Stirling coastline. Erosion can occur in a short time period - for example due to a storm event, or over a longer period of time - as the shoreline gradually retreats due to rising mean sea level or changes/variability in local coastal process.

If erosion occurs where assets exist, the damage is generally permanent. Erosion, however, is not necessarily permanent with sandy beaches often eroding and recovering seasonally. Both erosion and inundation hazard extents will be mapped for the CHRMAP, at various timeframes from present day to 2120.

For more information, please contact Frank Strever, Engineering Services on (08) 9205 8555.

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