#Ports&Shipping - The second largest port in Northern Ireland, Warrenpoint Port, is inviting members of the public and other key stakeholders to comment on proposed changes to how dredged material from the harbour is dealt with.
The Co. Down port currently carries out a major dredging programme every two to five years with material disposed of in the Irish Sea.
However, new plans have been put forward to carry out dredging on a more regular but smaller scale, with material placed at a site in the mouth of Carlingford Lough between Cranfield Point and Greencastle.
Clare Guinness, CEO, Warrenpoint Port said: “In order for the Port to continue to support maritime trade successfully, it must ensure a sufficient water depth is maintained to allow for the safe berthing of vessels, which it does through dredging.
“In anticipation of a rise in trade over the coming years, and to ensure the Port continues to thrive as an economic driver to the local region, a new site for the disposal of dredged material is being proposed within the mouth of Carlingford Lough.
“This is also in line with current thinking that dredged material should be deposited as close as possible to source.
“In our role as a custodian of the marine environment, we want to hear the views of all stakeholders, including members of the public, before any plans are put into action.”
A number of surveys, studies and assessments will be undertaken to determine the suitability of the location between Cranfield Point and Greencastle, including marine ecology and sediment surveys, geophysical surveys, and hydrodynamic and sediment transport modelling.
A public drop-in consultation event will take place at Warrenpoint Town Hall on Wednesday 19th September from 4pm to 7pm. There will be an opportunity to discuss the proposed disposal site and the environmental assessment process with Port staff and its consultants Royal HaskoningDHV.