Council should join debate on dredging
LOUTH County Council have been urged to get involved in the debate on plans by Warrenpoint Port to dump dredged material in Carlingford Louth.
Cllr. Mark Dearey made the appeal at the September meeting of the Dundalk Municipal District Committee, which was held in Carlingford’s Heritage Centre last week.
Warrenpoint Port, which is directly opposite the Louth coastline has recently announced proposed changes to how dredged material from the harbour is dealt with.
In a statement issued last week, the Port authority confirmed it 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.’
She added: ‘ 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.’
Cllr. Dearey told last week’s Municipal meeting that Louth County Council should ‘involve themselves in this process in a fairly robust way, as the proposal here is to dump dredged material directly into Carlingford Lough.’
He said the impact of this move on oyster farms, and local wildlife and birds had to be considered. He urged the local authority to get involved in the consultation process.
A public drop-in consultation event will take place at Warrenpoint Town Hall on Wednesday 19th September from 4pm to 7pm where there will be an opportunity to discuss the proposed disposal site and the environmental assessment process.
Clare Guinness, CEO, Warrenpoint Port.