Parks Victoria yesterday commenced maintenance dredging at St Leonards Pier and harbour following natural sand build up, which has created a hazard for recreational and commercial boat operators.
“The works form part of Parks Victoria’s ongoing dredging program to ensure the continuation of safe boating access within Port Phillip and Western Port,” said Parks Victoria Ranger in Charge, Stephen McPhee.
“The dredged material is predominantly sand and will be utilised for renourishment on the beach, approximately 600metres north-west of the pier, which is consistent with the natural sand movements along the St Leonards foreshore,” said Mr McPhee.
Mr McPhee added that when first dredged, the sand may have a dark colour and some odour.
This is due to the organic material in the sand.
After a few days on the beach and exposed to the air and sun, it will bleach to the normal colour of beach sand and loose its odour.
Mariners are advised to exercise caution during the dredging process and are also reminded to observe the 5 knot speed limit in the vicinity of the dredge and dredge infrastructure pipeline.
“The dredge situated in the harbour will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre during the dredging operations and all vessel operators are reminded to observe the marks on the dredge and pass safely on side showing two black diamonds.”
Dredging at the harbour was last undertaken in August 2002 when approximately 7,800m3 of sand was removed.
Recent monitoring surveys indicate approximately 7,000m3 is now required to be removed.
Dredging operations will run for approximately two weeks depending upon weather.
Press Release, March 12, 2014