BOAT owners and surfers will benefit from the dredging of navigation channels in Port Hacking that began yesterday.
The sand dredged from the Hacking River as part of scheduled maintenance of the navigation channels will be used to recreate an artificial sand reef or "sand slug" close to the shoreline along Cronulla's beaches.
The sand slug designed by marine architect Andrew Pitt will be a first for Sydney.
It followed consultation with surfers and the Bate Bay Sand Placement Committee, which is chaired by Leader chief photographer John Veage.
The sand will be used to create the sand slug, which will improve wave formation off the Prince Street seawall.
Sutherland Shire mayor Carol Provan said material that was dredged was expected to provide better surfing conditions, wider beaches and help protect the sea wall.
"While this sand formation off the Prince Street sea wall will initially offer great surfing, surfers must be aware that the sand will eventually be washed ashore by prevailing weather conditions," she said.
"So the benefit will eventually transfer to those who use the beaches."
Depending on tides and weather conditions, the dredge will remove material from channels across the mouth of Gunnamatta Bay, from Bundeena to Burraneer Point, across the mouth of Burraneer Bay, south of Turriel Point between Lilli Pilli and Little Turriel Bay, and between Lilli Pilli Point and Goggerleys Point.
Cr Provan said boat owners were reminded to keep a lookout for the dredge and stay clear.
They are also asked to keep vessel wash to a minimum so it does not impact the work. Fines may apply to those who interfere with dredging operations.
She said work to dredge the channels was delayed for some time due to the impact of weather conditions on the dredge contractor's operations elsewhere, and the need to repair the dredge.
The dredging will remove an estimated 70,000 cubic metres of material and is made possible with funding from the NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage (formerly Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water), which gave the council $2.56 million to undertake the dredging using contractor McQuade Marine Pty Ltd.