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West Point Dredging Underway

Posted on August 1, 2016

By Eric McCarthy, Journal Pioneer

West Point lobster fishermen are breathing a sigh of relief now that a dredge is pumping sand away from the channel outside of the harbour entrance.

The equipment arrived on Monday and has been operational since Tuesday.

The mouth of the harbour hasn’t been touched yet and the sandbar rises out of the water to one side of the entrance.

That, too, shall go, says port authority chair Paul Wood. He suggested the equipment is taking advantage of calm weather to clear the channel outside of the harbour first.

Emergency funding for the dredging was announced last week.

“Bobby came through for us,” Wood said, acknowledging Egmont MP Bobby Morrissey’s efforts on the fishermen’s behalf.

Wood said lobster boats would not have been able to get out of their harbour on setting day, August 9, if dredging had not been carried out. He said boats have been stranded inside or outside of the harbour, or stuck on the sandbar on low tide.

Sand drifting southward through the Northumberland Strait is believed to be what is clogging the channel and the entrance. The dredged sand is being deposited on the beach east of the harbour.

Land-based dredging was carried out at the entrance in late April and, while it provided safe passage at the time, the entrance filled in again and soundings determined the channel had also become dangerously shallow.

Source: Journal Pioneer

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