Dredging of the Manning River estuary commenced in the 1850s to clear a channel from Harrington to Wingham which continued until the 1940s. More recently the need for dredging certain reaches of the river to improve navigation and environmental flows have been identified in the 'Farquhar Inlet Old Bar entrance opening management plan' and the Manning River Estuary Management Plan.
The Manning River maintenance dredging strategy was adopted by Council in August 2010 and last updated in 2015. The Strategy prioritises dredging within the Manning River estuary so that it is sustainable over the long term. Some 27 dredging sites have been identified ranging from extreme to low priority. The Strategy provides a historical context to dredging in the estuary and provides information on the estuary processes, which result in the need for dredging.
The Strategy also outlines the steps necessary in the planning and implementation of dredging works as well as the legislative requirements, indicative extraction volumes and costs, and potential funding sources. The Strategy essentially provides a strategic framework to assist in the application for funding to achieve maintenance dredging works that have been identified.