Ocean City Inlet Navigation Project Moving Forward | Recent news

OCEAN CITY, Maryland- In recent years, funding cuts have reduced the amount of maintenance performed on Ocean City’s entrance waterways.

Boatmen say there is not enough dredging.

“[Dredging] a long urgent need,” said Kerry Harrington, owner of Seaborn Seafood in Ocean City.

When the accumulation of sand and sediment is not removed by dredging, it makes the water shallower. This can cause costly damage to boats that run aground according to delivery driver Anthony Koot.

“If you hit a sandy bottom or hit rocks on the bottom, you can damage your hull,” Koot said. “You can damage your fiberglass, you can also suck sand into your turbine, and that will overheat the motor, and that’s not good from there.”

Dredging cutbacks have also hurt Ocean City’s economy, forcing at least one company to seek deeper waters.

“We had a fleet of clams here for a long time and they eventually sold out and it became too dangerous for them to come in and out of this creek,” Harrington said. “They had several hundred thousand dollars in damage…they just gave up and moved to New Jersey.”

The US Army Corps of Engineers has released an environmental assessment for a project that will realign nearby shipping channels and breakwaters. This will deepen the waters in the channels and reduce the amount of dredging required.

Koot said it would make navigation smoother for crew and passengers.

“I’ll have a safer feeling knowing I’ve got a deep enough amount of water here to ride and not have to worry about hitting bottom and sending my people on my boat flying uphill. before,” Koot said.

The project is estimated at around $10 million.

The Corps is seeking public comments and comments on the current environmental assessment.

More information about the project can be found on the US Army Corps of Engineers website.

Public comments can be submitted to [email protected]

The Corps hopes to begin work by the end of 2022.

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