Beach’s loss is harbour’s pain

More dredging appears likely

Eric McCarthy
Published on December 5, 2016

Sand that’s leaving the dunes and beach in West Point seems to be moving up shore and filling in the West Point Harbour. Port chair Paul Wood says more dredging will likely be needed next spring so that boats can get out.

©Eric McCarthy/TC Media

WEST POINT – Sand being sloughed off the beach to the west of West Point Harbour seems to be reestablishing itself in the harbour and at its entrance, port chairman Paul Wood reports.

Small Craft Harbours sent in a land-based dredge last April to clear the harbour’s entrance so that fishing boats could come and go and then it employed a floating dredge at the end of July to clear the channel so that lobster boats could get out.

Wood said it now looks like dredging operations will have to be conducted again next year. He said he notified Small Craft Harbours a month ago of a buildup of sand and gravel in the bullpen.

“It's really filling in fast,” he remarked.

Inspecting the entrance Monday morning following last week’s weather conditions that eroded sand from the beach down shore, including in front of the lighthouse, Wood discovered that the entrance has also filled in again.

While boats might be able to squeeze through on a high tide, he said they wouldn’t be getting through on low tide. All boats from the harbour have already been hauled out of the water for the winter.
Wood noted that shifting sand has filled in the area beside the harbour right to the end of the south wall, to the extent that it is flowing across the entrance. “We’ll definitely need the long reach,” he said referring to land-based dredging. He’s not sure how far out through the entrance the sandbar extends.

Wood suggested the money being spent on dredging might go a long way towards building an extension to the southwest corner so that sand can be deflected farther out to sea and away from the entrance.