Marine and Safety Tasmania CEO, Colin Finch was interviewed by ABC Rural today at Blanche Beach, where dredging to remove 215,000 cubic metres of sand is almost complete. The sand is being moved from a major deposition area alongside the rock training wall to the back of the dune system in Georges Bay.
Works are are currently underway to remove sand from Blanche Beach. The project follows an earlier recommendation that sand be removed from Blanche Beach to help improve the conditions on the barway by allowing sand on the offshore bar to move ashore onto the beach.
Providing space on the beach for sand accumulation is also expected to reduce the amount of sand that is currently entering Georges Bay and accumulating on the shoals such as Pelican Point.
The works consist of excavating sand from Blanche Beach and transporting this sand to the low-lying areas behind the dunes. The work is being undertaken in accordance with an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) commissioned by Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST). One of the requirements of the EMP is that works should not be undertaken between September and April when some migratory bird species nest on Blanche Beach. Works on the beach are expected to be completed by 31 August 2009. Work away from the beach may continue until mid-September.
While it is hoped that the removal of sand from the beach will improve conditions at the barway and minimise the amount of new sand entering Georges Bay, it will not reduce the shoals that already exist inside the entrance. As a result, preliminary work is also underway on assessments and approvals for dredging at Pelican Point where the shoals have become an obstacle to vessels entering Georges Bay.
Further queries can be directed to Justin Foster at MAST by phoning (03) 6233 8818.
(From the Break O’Day Council newsletter, Winter 2009)