The annual dredging of the Altona safe boat harbour, more commonly known as the Altona boat ramp, has kicked off.
Council dredges the harbour every year to maintain the required depth and width to ensure the safety of recreational boats.
Cherry Lake Ward Councillor Tony Briffa said the Council recognised the importance of annual maintenance being completed before the Port Phillip Bay snapper season begins in late October.
“We know the importance of the boat ramp here in Seaholme and we want to make sure it’s ready for the busy season ahead of us,” Cr Briffa said.
“While the dredging is underway, boat movements will still be possible in and out of the harbour and the works will be done as quickly as possible during quieter times on weekdays.
“The dredging should be completed by early September and we ask people to be patient while it’s underway.”
Cherry Lake Ward Councillor Sandra Wilson said the removal of silt through the dredging also nourishes the nearby beach.
“This year, we are using a new and improved process. After dredging the sand from the floor of the harbour, the dredged sand is pumped into geofabric bags on site, allowing for the water to filter out of the sand,” said Cr Wilson.
“The bags of sand are then transferred and emptied onto the Altona Dog Beach at PA Burns Reserve.
“While the organic black sand may look a little surprising on the beach, rest assure that nature will take its course and it will oxidise quickly and turn white after only a few days of air exposure, adding sand volumes to the beach.”
The annual dredging is coinciding with Council’s works at PA Burns Reserve which, with the exception of the cricket oval, is closed to the public through to October 2019. The stretch of coastline commonly known as Altona Dog Beach, will be closed until Saturday 7 September 2019.
“While the PA Burns Reserve works and dredging are underway, we encourage dog walkers to use one of the other inviting off-leash areas within the municipality,” said Cr Wilson.
For dog off lead areas in Hobsons Bay, visit https://www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/Services/Pets-Animals/Dog-off-leash-locations
All necessary approvals from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Parks Victoria to carry out the harbour dredging have been received. Council also follows the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) best practice guidelines for the dredging and disposal of the silt and sediment.