The dredging of The Entrance Channel is underway, according to Central Coast Council’s Director of Assets and Infrastructure, Mr Mike Dowling.
Mr Dowling said the dredging program is carried out to maintain tidal exchange between the ocean and the estuary. “Council must balance the delicate environment of The Entrance Channel while enhancing navigation of the area, providing sand nourishment of the local beaches and reducing the risk of localised flooding,” Mr Dowling said. “To do this, Council uses fixed cameras to continuously monitor the sand within the channel, and completes sand surveys when required,” he said. “Dredging is undertaken, on average, every two years, and the sand removed from the channel is used to combat natural erosion at The Entrance and North Entrance Beaches.
“We expect to remove more than 60,000 cubic meters of sand during this dredging program, including a small amount west of the bridge.” Council has dredged The Entrance Channel, when needed, since 1993. The last dredging program was undertaken in 2015. Council recently welcomed $225,000 in funding as part of the NSW Government’s Rescuing Our Waterways program. This funding will be matched by Council. Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Mr Scot MacDonald, said he encouraged Central Coast Council to apply for a share of $1.5m in government funding for essential dredging projects. Mr MacDonald said the funding allows coastal councils to apply for up to 50 per cent of the cost of dredging operations, and pre-dredging studies, for their local waterways. “This is the latest round of the NSW Government’s Rescuing Our Waterways program, offering $6m over four years to help councils with dredging costs,” Mr MacDonald said. “It’s an opportunity for councils to partner with the state government to deliver better access to waterways for recreational and commercial users and safer boating.”
Source: Media release, Apr 12 Mike Dowling, Central Coast Council Media release, Apr 10 Kit Hale, Office of Scot MacDonald