Sand build-up in Nambucca river mouth worsening

Anyone who has lived here for a while knows the ephemeral nature of the Nambucca River mouth.

The sand shifts and shapes the landscape, meaning no two days are ever the same.

Loud are the cries of those who believe the best way to increase tourist trade in the area is by dredging the river. They say the mouth is impenetrable at low tide in a boat.

And Marine Rescue Nambucca Unit Commander Graham Horne has recently voiced concerns about his team's dwindling access to the ocean which is a very real danger in emergency situations.

"Our response time...would normally be 15 minutes. But with the river the way it is that could be extended many, many minutes which could be life-threatening," he said.

"Sometimes when we bring the boat back in we've got to wait hours to get back into the shed."

The sand build-up has been a persistent issue, with 5000 signatures collected in 2007 to petition the local and state governments to instate maintenance dredging.

The main issue is that once dredging starts it would need to continue to keep the channel clear. And that, of course, would need a constant stream of funding.

For the last month or more the case for dredging has been bolstered by an impervious build-up of sand the whole length of the V-Wall.

Locals we spoke to this morning said it's the worst they've seen.

The improvements to the Gordon Park boat access ramp might soon be made redundant if the channel narrows any more.


We went for a stroll along the V-Wall this morning at low-tide to check out the effect and spotted fishermen halfway across the channel to Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach).

If this keeps up, there may even come a time when one could walk straight across.

Further north, dredging work is expected to start this month in Coffs Harbour to alleviate the entrance channel to the harbour after the project recently received $615,000 in funding from the NSW Government.

If you've snapped any recent pics of the sand build-up we'd love to see them. You can send them to mel.davis@nambuccaguardian.com.au

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