Shaws Bay at East Ballina is being dredged.
Shaws Bay at East Ballina is being dredged.

Can you still swim at Shaws Bay during dredging work?

DREDGING is under way at popular Shaws Bay at East Ballina, and water users are being asked to take care if swimming there.

Exclusions zones will be set up as the dredge goes around the bay but it will be clearly barricaded and signposted.

Swimming is still allowed and Shaws Bay can be accessed from Compton Dr, Pop Denisoin Park and Fenwick Dr.

The work which will cost about $1.5 million aims to improve the health of the bay, as well as improving recreational amenities for the community.

It is part of Ballina Shire Council's Coastal Zone Management Plan to ensure that the shire's waterways continue to provide the ecological, cultural, recreational and economic benefits residents and visitors currently appreciate.

The dredging works include the establishment of a large temporary stockpile compound at Pop Denison Park.

The compound will be used to process the dredged material onsite and which will then be used as clean beach sand to manage foreshore erosion.

Director of planning and environmental health, Matt Wood, said Shaws Bay had been a popular spot for many years and was one of Ballina's favourite water-based recreational areas. "The works will protect the habitat and ecological values of the bay, improve the water quality and accessibility and provide much improved recreational facilities for the community," he said.

"With dredging about to start, we expect it to be completed by December, so the community can enjoy the new facilities throughout the warmer months."

The Shaws Bay improvements have been made possible thanks to grant funding from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment under the Coastal and Estuary Grants Program.

Other improvements underway at Shaws Bay include the creation of an ecological protection area, a saltmarsh basin and revegetation works.

A raised boardwalk to span the new saltmarsh area and foreshore improvements will also be installed.

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