Why is council dredging at Mothers Beach?
Mornington Peninsula Shire is required to provide safe access for recreational and commercial water users in the bay. Part of this includes sand movement or dredging to ensure boating and watercraft areas are safe and accessible.
What are the implications if we do not dredge?
The dredging is conducted to keep depth at a level so boats and watercraft can safely access piers – otherwise boats would run aground.
Why is dredging taking place at this time?
The scheduling of dredging is dependent on several factors including environmental considerations, weather and minimising the impact on the recreational water sport users.
How long will dredging take?
The works are expected to start 14 March and be completed in approximately 2 weeks.
How often does the Shire dredge?
The Shire conducts surveys annually for all boat ramps to allow and plan dredging in shallow areas.
Who is undertaking the dredging work?
The dredging will be conducted by Victorian Marine Services.
Who authorises dredging?
The State Government has approved the work under the Marine and Coastal Act 2018 and Parks Victoria has approved the environmental management plan.
How will dredging affect water quality?
While dredging is happening, the water might be cloudy due to the movement of sand. The sediment settles once the dredging machines are turned off for the day.
Can people swim and dive at this time?
The area is safe for swimming and diving as long as water users keep clear of the dredging equipment.
How will marine life be protected during the dredging? Will dredging negatively impact the ecology of the bay?
Consultation has been undertaken with marine ecology experts to ensure dredging occurs at the most appropriate time and with the least interference to sea-life.
A detailed environmental management plan has been developed to ensure the Shire is minimising any impacts to the environment.
As dredging begins, we will continue to monitor the environmental impacts to ensure the least possible impact marine life and the ecology of the bay.
Are boats and watercraft able to safely access the piers currently?
Boats and watercraft can currently access the boat ramp and yacht club, although sand has drifted into the channel making parts of the channel shallow.
What will happen to the sand that is removed?
The sand will be used to renourish the nearby Shire Hall Beach where sand levels have declined.
Why does the dredged sand used to renourish the beaches emit an odour? Is the sand toxic or dangerous?
The odour associated with the sand removed is rotting vegetation or seaweed and the odour dissipates quickly. The sand can be dark grey in colour and becomes light in a few days, once bleached by the sun.
Sand testing has been conducted in the areas outlined for dredging, as part of the permit process, and no pollutants have been detected.