Locals and visiting beach goers will be able to comfortably enjoy a sludge-free Sandringham Harbour this summer with a beach clean-up project about to get underway.
Consisting of decaying organic matter such as seaweed and seagrasses, the naturally-occurring sludge has affected the ambience of the waterfront as it has accumulated and may pose a hazard to sailors and other visitors to the beachfront. The material is not contaminated or toxic.
In response to community concerns, the Victorian Government will begin a new project to remove the sludge by dredging and disposing it in the marine environment to the west of the breakwater with minimal environmental impact.
Following the dredging operation, a beachfront grooming project will also get underway to regenerate the vitality of the popular destination.
Whilst seaweed is naturally deposited across many beachfronts, the tidal movements around Sandringham Harbour have allowed this material to collect in significant quantities, omitting an unpleasant odour as it breaks down and causing some visitors, dogs and boats to get stuck.
This operation represents a significant investment into the local community for beach and harbour users and will mean Sandringham Harbour and beachfront is free from sludge by late 2019 in time for the 2020 World Laser Sailing Championships, an important qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
We would like to thank some close friends of SYC who have been instrumental in making this commitment happen – former Member for Higginbotham Noel Pullen, prominent Bayside local and ex-Mayor Felicity Frederico, SYC Member and Marine Scientist Scott Chidgey, and both Graeme Davis and David Ritman from Parks Victoria.