One such treasure, is the world class surf break at Aramoana, also known as ‘The Spit’. Lying adjacent to the entrance of the Otago Harbour, the wave environment has been modified to the benefit of the surf break over the years by the dumping of spoil from maintenance dredging by Port Otago.
Now as infrastructure demands, Port Otago has applied for Resource Consents to deepen the shipping channel to enable large ‘super ships’ to visit the Port. Along with a new disposal ground 6.3 ks out to sea which will accept the majority of the 7.2 million cubic metres of dredged material, the existing dump sites will also be receiving a stepped up volume of spoil.
Surfers are concerned that increased volumes may reach a tipping point, and adversely effect the quality of the Spit wave. Similar scenarios have occured at a number of surfbreaks here and overseas as a result of disposal of spoil at sea. For example, the Superbank. We are asking for regular monitoring of the surfing wave environment as a condition of the resource consents, to ensure the balance is maintained. And hope that surfers can unite and have their say by submitting on the consent applications.