Contractors for the NSW MidCoast Council are halfway through a challenging dredging task, with 60,000 cubic metres of sand to be moved to combat erosion along the coastline.
A series of storm events throughout June and July slowed operations on certain days; however, the team made up for lost time during finer conditions to ensure they remained on schedule and the navigation channel could progress as expected.
“Optimum conditions have allowed Dredging Solutions to dredge above targets during the early period of the campaign and to ease off when the adverse weather set in,” said Andrew Staniland, MidCoast Council’s Coastal Management Coordinator.
“Another bonus of this project, and certainly a timely one given current conditions, is the ability to replenish Jimmys Beach using the dredge, and as locals will understand, we need this right now,” Mr Staniland said.
Council had originally intended to start moving sand onto Jimmys Beach in September; however, this has been brought forward to combat the significant erosion sustained over the last few weeks.
“The pipe work and booster pumps for this part of the operation were mobilised over the weekend and the team began pumping 20,000 cubic metres onto the beach this week.
“Jimmys Beach is a vulnerable location and we know we need to move quickly given the damage that was sustained by the storms, so I’m pleased we’ve been able to bring it forward to get a small buffer in place ready for the next storm,” Mr Staniland said.
The dredged sand will also complement future sand placement projects by the Sand Transfer System.
“Nourishing Jimmys Beach is a multi-faceted operation and our plan has been to utilise a range of methods at different times,” Mr Staniland said.
“Our stockpile at Winda Woppa, that feeds the Sand Transfer System, was exhausted after the last campaign. So it was decided to dredge the channel to improve navigation first and foremost, while also replenishing the stockpile and concurrently dredging onto the beach while the pipework is in place.
“This dredging project will provide a stockpile for future Sand Transfer System campaigns, while also addressing the erosion happening right now, it’s a win-win.
“We know these sacrificial sand buffers work. The buffer that has just eroded had been in place since August 2019 and we’re confident that this 20,000 cubic metres, along with the future sand transfer system replenishment work, will buffer Jimmys for even longer.”