Port Otago is seeking a long-term consent for its inshore dredging disposal activity. Modelling and monitoring undertaken suggests an extension to the Heyward Point site and a minor adjustment to the Aramoana site could allow for better management of effects on nearby surf breaks.
This survey is being run by Port Otago Ltd to monitor the surfing wave quality at the north coast breaks near the Otago harbour entrance.
The purpose of this survey is to allow surfers to record their personal observations of surfing wave quality, which Port Otago Ltd will use to help inform their wave, hydrodynamic, and sediment dynamics study.
The surf survey is still going and you can still provide your feedback to us. The number of incoming surveys for the last 6 months of 2015 was much slower than the period September 2014 to April 2015. We are certainly still keen to receive your feedback and input.
We’ve put two reports on the www.portotago.co.nz website which present some results and analysis for the Sept’14 to Apr’15 period. If you’ve got some quiet time at home, take a quick look at how the information you send us is being used.
Of real interest to us at the present time is the potential changes in surf at Aramoana, with 50,000m3 trial mound having been completed in mid-January. Thanks again for taking the time to send us your feedback.
Dredging has been carried out in the Otago Harbour since the 1860s, with disposal of dredged material “out to sea” occurring since at least 1882. Prior to 1985 all dredged material was placed at the Heyward Point site. This included material derived from both development and maintenance dredging. In 1985, the Aramoana disposal site was first used. The Shelly Beach site was added as a further option in 1987. Sediment was placed here to assist in re-nourishing Shelly Beach, which was suffering from erosion at that time.
Otago Harbour is similar to other tidal ports around the world, as the channel and basin areas require ongoing dredging to maintained desired depths. Disposal at sea is the key economically viable way to dispose of dredged material.
Port Otago currently holds resource consent to dispose of up to 450,000m3 per year of harbour sediments derived from channel and berth dredging to three inshore disposal sites near the entrance of the Otago Harbour. The current resource consent relates to the 81 hectares of coastal area across the three historical disposal areas of Heyward Point, Aramoana and Shelly Beach.
This consent will expire in January 2017. In order for the Port to be authorised to continue disposing of dredged material at these sites, Section 124 of the RMA requires that a renewal application be submitted to the Otago Regional Council, no later than 15 July 2016. Port Otago is aiming to lodge its new consent application in June 2016.
To help illustrate the dredging process, we've produced a short video clip showing the New Era working in the Otago Harbour showing the dredging process from start to finish: