BATTLING the forces of nature a trial water injection dredging operation starts at Burry Port Harbour on Monday. (Sept 11th)

It is part of a £2m-plus improvement and maintenance programme planned to transform Carmarthenshire’s marina and repair the harbour walls over 10 years.

The work is vital to support the harbour’s future as a working marina and tourist attraction and hopefully result in a sustainable option to keep the harbour open.

The specialist water injection vessel  was craned into the harbour at the weekend for the 20-day operation which will lead to thousands of tonnes of  water bourn silt being dispersed from the Harbour into the estuary on ebb tides.

County executive board member for culture, sport and tourism, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, said: “The estuary location of the harbour means that nature will always try and restore a natural balance, Water injection dredging has a proven track record as a cost effective and environmentally sound solution to reduce silts in such locations.

“Burry Port Harbour is key to the economic vibrancy of the area attracting hundreds of visitors every week. We are proud to have such a wonderful facility as part of our Millennium Coastal Park.”

Council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “The work and the future investment programmed will support the wider regeneration ambitions for the area and provide a real incentive for businesses looking to invest in the area. The current administration put all the consents in place for the phased harbour improvement programme earlier this year”

Historically, the harbour has always filled with silt which has to be removed every 10-20 years.

Repairs to the listed harbour walls totalling £1.94m will be phased over a 5 to 10-year period. Works will be carried out on a priority basis with council officers exploring grant opportunities for funding.

The 300-berth marina has a 50per cent occupancy and the dredge, it is hoped, will increase the harbour depth by more than a metre increasing its use and accessibility.

Carmarthenshire council are asking harbour users to take extra caution at all times over this period when the tidal flap gate will remain in the ‘fully open position’ and the harbour traffic light system will display a ‘green light’ at all times.

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