A feasibility study into an offshore reef to address coastal erosion at Old Bar, east of Taree, is due to start in March.
The reef would prevent erosion by holding back the sand to protect beachfront homes.
The Beach Sand Replenishment Group has been raising money for the $50,000 study, and it now has almost $12,000.
The president, Elaine Pearce, says marine consultant, Shaw Mead, has promised to start the study at the end of March.
“Oh look, I’ll be so pleased,” she said.
“If we can get it started and people can see that yes there is a chance, you know.
“When you’re feeling as though like you’re going nowhere, and there’s no hope.
“At the moment, still, the fore dune is being eaten away and that’s the big problem.”
Ms Pearce says the tight-knit community of Old Bar is thrilled to be inching closer to solve the area’s serious coastal erosion.
“It will be wonderful,” she said.
“Where they’ve installed reefs around the world, it has replenished the sand.
“The feasibility study is to prove that it won’t do damage to any other part.
“We’ll have an improved surf, because they design them to improve the surf, improved marine life, and generally odds are win-win.”