The Port of Dover says millions of pounds of investment and hundreds of jobs will be at risk if it can't dredge the material it wants from the Goodwin Sands.
The work will help expand the Western Docks and the port says getting sand from further away will massively increase the carbon footprint of the project.
Opponents of the scheme say they will ask for a judicial review if the Government does give the go-ahead later this year.
As Iain McBride reports.
Iain spoke to Neil Wiggins the Community Director at the Port of Dover, Bryony Chapman, a Marine Policy Officer from the Kent Wildlife Trust and Joanna Thomson from the Save Our Sands Campaign.
Divers are exploring a shipwreck off the Kent coast which sank more than 270 years ago - complete with silver bars, ingots and coins.
British and Dutch marine archaeologists are creating a survey of the 18th century trading ship which foundered on the Goodwin Sands to see whether more of its amazing artefacts can be raised - and how to preserve it in future.
Sarah Saunders spoke to Mark Dunkley of Historic England, Martijn Manders of the Dutch Maritime Programme and marine archaeologist Alex Hildred.
It's a home to seals and famous for shipwrecks. And now conservations are battling plans to dredge the Goodwin Sands.
The stretch of sandbanks lies six miles off the Deal coastline and the decision to extract sand and gravel to develop Dover's western docks has come under attack by campaigners who say it could endanger marine life.
Dover Harbour Board insists their marine studies show the option has "least overall environmental impact". Sarah Saunders spoke to Bryony Chapman of the Kent Wildlife Trust; and campaigners Esme Chilton and Joanna Thomson
Work has started to raise the only surviving German Second World War Dornier Do 17 bomber from its watery grave in the English Channel.
The aircraft was shot down more than 70 years ago during the Battle of Britain and the project will be the biggest recovery of its kind in British waters, the RAF Museum said.
The existence of the aircraft at Goodwin Sands, off the Kent coast, became known when it was spotted by divers in 2008 at a depth of some 50ft lying on a chalk bed with a small debris field around it.
A yacht has run aground at Goodwin Sands off Deal in Kent. Three people were rescued from the vessel.
VIDEO: One of the biggest issues facing the South East - airport expansion - took an unexpected turn today with the unveiling of plans for a £39 billion Multi-billion pound plan for Kent airporthub airport in the English Channel.
Plans for a new hub airport on the Goodwin Sands off the Kent coast have been announced. The £39bn proposal would see four runways 3km offshore and is being touted as an ideal location given that it would not require the displacement of residents or demolition of existing buildings.
The proposals have been put forward by London-based maritime engineers, Beckett Rankine. The firm's director, Tim Beckett says that if the plans go ahead, "Goodwin will have the least adverse social and environmental impact of any option. It is certainly the most sustainable solution available.”