A $2.9 MILLION plan to clear the silt out of the Elliott River mouth is emerging as the favoured way to deal with the problem.
The plan has emerged from a study carried out by Griffith University's Centre for Coastal Management.
The study produced four options to deal with the silt problem, but in a report prepared for the Bundaberg Regional Council a plan to close off the southern mouth of the river was the favourite.
The plan would involve extending the sandbag groyne wall to Dr May's Island, re-creating the previous natural sand spit and using the channel as a source of dredged sand.
Elliott Heads Ratepayers and Residents Association president Barry Bainbridge yesterday welcomed the results of the study.
“I thought it was a good study, and it's a great step forward,” he said.
Mr Bainbridge said the Elliott River, with its pristine waters, was a major recreational outlet for families.
Opening up the mouth would also encourage more use of the Cochrane Artificial Reef.
Mr Bainbridge said the problem was created when the opening of the southern mouth of the river pushed more and more sand into the river.
“It's getting worse and worse,” he said.
“It needs to have the southern mouth closed off so the volume of tidal flow goes through the northern mouth.”
Mr Bainbridge said that would be the natural way to clear the river and restore sand to Coonarr Beach.
Member for Hinkler Paul Neville said the plight of the Elliott River was one of the highest environmental priorities in the Wide Bay.
“I've worked on it for years,” he said.
“Frankly, I think the river is only a shadow of its former self.”
He said it was imperative to get it flowing again in a self-dredging situation.