The dredging program at The Entrance Channel has commenced.
The program is set to continue through coming months, in accordance with the EPA licence and other environmental constrains and will be conducted in two stages.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said the NSW Government was contributing $600,000 to the project.
“In February 2020, the NSW Government provided $600,000 to dredge The Entrance Channel and I am pleased that work is finally getting underway,” Mr Crouch said.
“Council has matched this funding on a dollar-for-dollar basis, allowing for a $1.2 million dredging project.”
The dredging program is funded by both Central Coast Council and the NSW Government through the Rescuing Our Waterways fund.
Council Director Environment and Planning, Scott Cox, said the dredging program would look a little different to previous years, but that it was necessary to ensure Council met its environmental obligations.
“Council has been working with coastal experts Royal HaskoningDHV to develop a program that meets the NSW EPA’s licencing requirements,” Mr Cox said.
“This means that Council will now be pumping the dredged sand to the areas inside the channel near Karagi reserve where it will be ‘dewatered’ before being manually moved to areas we plan to nourish, including North Entrance Beach.
“This process will be slower than previous years as the sand will have to be handled twice, and will mean that the community need to take extra care while the heavy machinery moves around on the beaches.
“However, the program will remove an estimated 30,000 cubic metres of sand from the channel.
“Our dredging plan also takes into consideration the imminent arrival of the Little terns and I want to assure the community we are taking measures to mitigate any impact on them while dredging is taking place.
“As part of preparation of our dredging plans, Council has engaged ornithologists (bird specialists) to help develop an appropriate plan.
“We will continue to monitor for the arrival of the Little Terns and when they arrive, we will seek further advice on the continuation of the program.”