RESIDENTS of Dublin's northside claim plans to dredge the sea floor to cater for bigger ships and dump the resulting debris in Dublin Bay is "a horrific idea".
More than 30 people met in Sutton to launch a campaign to stop the dumping of more than 10 million tonnes of silt into the Bay.
The 'dredging' process is due to be carried out as part of Dublin Port's revamp plan for the area.
It will see waste material taken out of one part of the bay and dumped in other areas nearby in order to make sea levels deep enough for cruise and cargo ships.
An Bord Pleanala gave the green light the €230m redevelopment plan earlier this month.
The residents said they are concerned that the debris will "destroy" the bay and its wildlife.
They also claim that the waste will be washed across the bay and that the consequences will be "detrimental" to the future amenities of the area.
The group met to discuss making an online petition and a submission to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to put a halt to the plans.
Charles Sargent (64), a member of the Sutton Dingy Club, said the dredging will "negatively affect everyone in the bay".
"When you remove ten million tonnes of sediment and you lay it anywhere else, naturally it's going to sweep back into the bay," he said.
"Dublin Port have their experts who come up with projections of where the sediment will go but we have seen the evidence of this before, you can't predict how nature will react.
"Apart from the fact that the contaminants will destroy the sea life, you have the pure volume of sediment spreading across the bay and it's going to ruin amenities here," he claimed.
Clontarf resident Lillian Spellman (66) said she was objecting to the plans to "protect the bay for my children and my grandchildren".
She claimed that residents did not have enough time to object to the plans, which she said were "slipped in under the radar" during the summer so there "would be no huge opposition".
"I'm doing this for the sake of our future," she said.
"It would be absolutely detrimental, it's a horrific idea."
Raheny resident Maxi Goodman (49) claimed that Dublin Port did not need cruise ships, and said that their presence would make life in the area "like living on a highway".
"They will get bigger and bigger and there will be so much noise pollution and fuel everywhere," she said.
"I'm worried about the future of Dublin Port for this reason and that's why I'm objecting to these plans."
Following permission from an Bord Pleanala last month, approval by the Department of the Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency is still needed.
Dublin Port said that it could not comment on the residents' concerns as the plans were still being processed.
The port project is expected to take five years to complete.
As part of the wider plans for the area Dublin Port Company is handing over more than 10 hectares of land on Bull Island to Dublin City Council, where a visitors centre is proposed.
The 'Alexandra Basin Project' was given planning permission despite objections from Drogheda and Dun Laoghaire ports at an oral hearing earlier this year.
The new plan is also designed to cater for a double the amount of container ships to 60 million tonnes by 2040.