The West

Work is under way to repair key sections of the Rottnest Island foreshore where constant use has caused erosion, damaged vegetation and created safety hazards.

The main focus of the work is at Henrietta Rocks, Little Parakeet Bay, Parker Point, the West End and Narrow Neck.

Rottnest Island Authority environmental co-ordinator Shane Kearney said the sites were the casualties in the constant battle between the island's environmental and recreational assets.

But he said the proposed repair and rehabilitation work would ensure key plant species were protected and access to popular recreational and heritage sites was improved and made safe.

"Studies we have done over the past couple of years have identified the critical areas on the island," Mr Kearney said.

"It was then a matter of working out the best solution for each site."

The RIA, in association with the volunteer group Winnit Club and the Rottnest Society, recently secured $140,700 in funding for the Henrietta Rocks project.

Henrietta Rocks has always been a popular site because of its beautiful vistas and snorkelling opportunities around the shipwreck of the Shark, a barge that broke its moorings in Fremantle and ran aground in 1939.

Mr Kearney said visitors to the beach currently trekked through fragile coastal dunes.

"Over time, these uncontrolled informal tracks have channelled surface water run-off and aggravated the erosion," he said. "This ad hoc access has destabilised the dune system and damaged the natural native vegetation."

But under the new plan, tiered stairs from the road lookout to the beach would be built. Eroded areas would be revegetated and interpretive signs installed. Another $30,000 was secured by the RIA and the Rottnest Conservation Foundation for similar work at Little Parakeet Bay.

The West Australian

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