That’s no yellow submarine in the harbour
Released 22 Sep 2008
You may have noticed that among the fencing, machinery and rock piles down at Princess Royal Harbour, there is a long winding yellow object floating on the water.
This mysterious object floating just offshore from the new ground that is to become the Peace Park is part of the City of Albany's environmental management works designed to minimise the impact of foreshore works on the harbour.
The use of this revolutionary technology is part of a comprehensive environmental management plan being implemented by the City of Albany and the Albany Port Authority.
The Department of Water's Acting Albany Regional Manager Chris Gunby said the plan was developed by the department in partnership with the City of Albany and the Albany Port Authority to ensure that best practice technology could be incorporated into the foreshore works.
"We aim to minimise the impact of the sediment removal and reclamation on the fragile seagrass and near shore areas of the harbour," Chris said.
"The yellow object is a silt curtain and comprises a floating boom that suspends a curtain through the water column down to the harbour floor.
"The silt curtain is designed to act as a trap to contain any sediments that wash into the harbour as a result of the reclamation and retaining wall construction.
"The silt that is trapped behind the curtain can then settle in the near shore shallows, and not over the nearby seagrass beds. This ensures that there is no impact on the seagrass and that these fragile nursery areas are protected from being smothered by sediment and silt."
City of Albany's Manager of City Works Mike Richardson said that the installation of the silt curtain over such a large area presented a number of challenges.
"However we are very pleased with its performance," he said.
"Not only has the curtain done an exceptional job at containing sediments, it has also reduced the force of wave action during recent storms and prevented the erosion of the reclamation area."
The silt curtain is also currently being used by the Albany Port Authority as part of the sediment removal works being undertaken to remove the unexploded ordinance from the harbour.
Albany Port Authority Acting CEO, Gary Crockford said the port's project was expected to be finished by the end of the year.
"All the planning and preparation is resulting in excellent environmental performance," he said.
For more information on the management of the works at the harbour, please contact Chris Gunby at the Department of Water on 98425760.
Contact: Dianne Dixon
Phone: (08) 6364 6983 / 041 991 0847