Updates on Ettalong Channel dredging program
About the dredging program
The marked navigational entrance channel—known as Ettalong channel—to Brisbane Water generally follows close to the eastern foreshore from Wagstaffe Point, Lobster Beach and Little Box Head.
From time to time, maintenance dredging of the channel is required due to the dynamic nature of the entrance sand shoals and sand movement.
On 21 May 2018, the government announced further emergency dredging to reinstate navigational access particularly for the public ferry service on the basis that Central Coast Council had committed to apply for matching funding under the Rescuing our Waterways Program.
This emergency program is now being implemented by the NSW Department of Industry—Lands & Water and NSW Roads & Maritime Services. A larger collaborative dredging program led by council will seek to use dredged sand to mitigate the impact of coastal hazards and improve beach amenity.
The emergency dredging program ensures boating access for larger vessels is reinstated in the interim period.
Current dredging plan
Stage one includes the removal of around 10,000 cubic metres of sand to provide a channel 30 metres wide and 2.5 metres deep to allow the ferry service to recommence.
Stage two will widen the entrance opening in an effort to slow the movement of sand back into the navigation channel.
Previous planned maintenance was undertaken in 2010 in partnership by the state and local government.
Emergency dredging of the channel was completed by the NSW Government in June, July and October 2017 with the dredging providing temporary relief for boaters including the ferry service.