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Corps of Engineers proposes maintenance dredging of North Cove Federal navigation project in Old Saybrook

Published May 31, 2017

CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District plans to perform maintenance dredging of the North Cove Federal navigation project in Old Saybrook, Conn. The town of OId Saybrook requested maintenance dredging of the project to provide safe access to the cove at all tide stages.


The authorized project provides for an 11-foot mean lower low water (MLLW) deep, 100-foot wide channel from the Connecticut River to an 11-foot mllw deep 12-acre anchorage within North Cove, and then to a 6-foot mllw deep by 17-acre anchorage.


The proposed work involves maintenance dredging to remove shoals in the 11-foot channel and anchorage and the 6-foot anchorage. Natural tidal action and riverine flows result in a high rate of deposition within North Cove. These natural shoaling processes have reduced available depths in both the 6-foot and 11-foot deep anchorages to as little as 3.0 feet mllw and the 11-foot channel depths have been reduced to as little as 4.0 feet mllw. The shoals are hindering navigational access and compromising vessel safety.


The proposed work consists of the maintenance dredging of about 290,000 cubic yards of sand and silt/clay material to return the Federal project to its authorized dimensions. The work will be performed by a private contractor, using a mechanical dredge and scows, under contract to the government. The dredge will remove the material from the bottom of the cove and place it in scows which will be towed by tug to the Central Long Island Sound Disposal Site, about 30 miles away, where the material will be released. The work will be accomplished over an 8-month period, between Oct. 1 and May 31.


The proposed work is being coordinated with: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; National Marine Fisheries Service; Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse; Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office; New York Department of State, Coastal Management Program; Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation; Mohegan Tribal Nation; town of Old Saybrook and the Old Saybrook Harbormaster. An Environmental Assessment for the dredging and disposal is being prepared.


The public notice, with more detailed information, is available for review on the Corps website at


Public comments on this proposed dredging work should be forwarded no later than June 29, 2017 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Programs/Project Management Division (ATTN: Mr. Craig Martin), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751 or by email to

Tim Dugan

Release no. 17-057