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Corps of Engineers proposes maintenance dredging of Rye Harbor Federal navigation project in Rye, New Hampshire

Published Feb. 25, 2019

CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing to perform maintenance dredging of the Rye Harbor Federal navigation project (FNP) in Rye, New Hampshire. The state of New Hampshire is the local sponsor and has requested this dredging.


Rye Harbor is a small, 40-acre estuarine embayment located approximately five miles south of Portsmouth Harbor and 13 miles north of the Merrimack River. The Rye Harbor FNP consists of a channel that is 100 feet wide and 10 feet deep at mean lower low water, extending 600 feet through the entrance between the outer breakwaters and then becoming 8 feet deep for another 1,700 feet to the state pier and boat ramp in the inner harbor. A 6-foot deep, 5-acre anchorage is located to the north of the 8-foot channel, and an 8-foot deep anchorage of the same size is located to the south.


“Hyrdographic surveys have shown severe shoaling within the Federal channel and the associated anchorages since the previous maintenance dredging in 1990, creating a hazard to vessels using Rye Harbor,” said Project Manager Mr. Michael Walsh, of the Corps’ New England District, Programs/Project Management Division in Concord, Mass. “Maintenance dredging would require the removal of 50,000 cubic yards of silt and fine-sand, to bring the Federal navigation project to its authorized dimensions.”


Dredging will be performed during a 3-4 month period between Nov. 1 and April 30, during the year or years in which funds become available. The dredge material has been determined to be suitable for unconfined open-water placement and will be placed by scow at either the Isles of Shoals North Disposal Site or the Cape Arundel Disposal Site.


The proposed work is being coordinated with: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Marine Fisheries Service; New Hampshire Office of State Planning; New Hampshire Department of Environmental Service; New Hampshire Department of Fish & Game; New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation; New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources; State Historic Preservation Office; Pease Development Authority – Division of Ports and Harbors; and municipal officials from the town of Rye. An environmental assessment is being prepared and will be available for review upon request.


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 project should be forwarded no later than March 27, 2019 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
USACE, New England District 696 Virginia Rd., Concord, MA 01742

Release no. 19-020