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Corps of Engineers proposes maintenance dredging of Plymouth Harbor Federal navigation project in Plymouth

Published June 14, 2018

CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District plans to perform maintenance dredging of the Plymouth Harbor Federal navigation project in Plymouth, Mass. The town of Plymouth is the local sponsor.


“Natural shoaling processes have reduced available depths to as little as 7.0 feet in the 18-foot main channel, 7.0 feet in the 15-foot channel, and 4.0 feet in the 8-foot anchorage, making navigation hazardous at lower stages of the tide,” said Project Manager Michael Walsh, of the Corps’ New England District, Programs/Project Management Division in Concord, Mass. “Maintenance dredging of approximately 385,000 cubic yards of sand and silt from approximately 75 acres of the authorized project area will restore the project to authorized dimensions.”


The 18-foot mean lower low water (MLLW) entrance channel contains approximately 41,000 cubic yards of fine sand. This material is proposed for placement at the Green Harbor Beach nearshore site dependent upon site capacity. The remaining material (approximately 344,000 cubic yards) is primarily silt and clay and proposed for placement at the Cape Cod Bay and Massachusetts Bay Disposal sites.


Construction is expected to take between 5-6 months within the allowable dredge window of Oct. 1 to Jan. 31 of any given year. The work is currently anticipated to be performed in 2018/2019 or 2019/2020. If dredging is not completed in one season, construction will occur the following season within the allowable dredge window. The application of this window will limit adverse impacts to federally-listed endangered species and threatened species as well as avoid the eelgrass growing season, anadromous fish migrations, and the spawning of winter flounder and shellfish.


Proposed work is being coordinated with: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Marine Fisheries Service; Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management; Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries; Massachusetts Historical Commission; Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources; Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe; Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah); Plymouth harbormaster and town Division of Marine and Environmental Affairs. A draft Environmental Assessment has been prepared.


The public notice, with more detailed information, is available for review on the Corps website at http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/Public-Notices/. Public comments on this proposed dredging should be forwarded no later than July 14, 2018 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Programs/Project Management Division (ATTN: Mr. Michael Walsh), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751 or by email to nae-pn-nav@usace.army.mil.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 18-056