Lake Cathie businesses are supportive of a proposal by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to regularly conduct a sand scrape and allow ocean water to meet with the lagoon.
Ahead of any future flooding scenario, council said it is hopeful of being able to proactively undertake a planned 'dry scrape' of the sand berm separating the lake and the ocean prior to flood trigger point being reached.
Council has applied to the NSW Department of Planning for a Crown Lands licence to undertake these works.
If successful, the licence will allow council to preemptively scrape the sand berm by more than half of one metre to 1.6 metres AHD.
This will allow the the lake to mimic a natural process, where it will naturally overtop the berm when water levels and conditions are right.
Misty Kelly from the Feel Good Food shop, situated opposite the Lake Cathie Reserve, said she would support the council's move to regularly conduct a sand scrape.
The lagoon entrance at Lake Cathie was inundated with sea water on Monday, January 3 as a result of king tides and the remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Seth battering the coastline from Forster to Nambucca Heads.
"Yes it looks awesome but sometimes the king tide often just puts a lot of sand back there," Ms Kelly said.
She said more tourists visit the business when the lagoon is fully open to the ocean.
Ms Kelly said the Christmas holiday period has been particularly quiet, and she believes it's due to the condition of the lake rather than circumstances due to COVID-19.
"It looks dirty, it can get smelly and has mosquitoes," she said.
"It has not helped us and it's pretty sad."
Mark Minturn is the owner of the Lake Cathie business complex opposite the Lake Cathie Reserve.
He also manages the hiring of paddle boards at the location.
"When the lake is open, it brings tourism to the whole area and is also one of the safest places for kids to swim," he said.
"Water brought in with the king tide doesn't necessarily open up the lake.
"If the ocean is bringing sand in, then it could actually make it higher (the sand berm)."
Mr Minturn said the benefits for the economy would outweigh the financial cost of the exercise.
Lake Cathie resident Carol Perry has lived in the area for 15 years.
She said it would be great if the council could regularly conduct a sand scrape, to benefit the animals who live at the lagoon and the people who want to carry out recreational activities.
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