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USACE proposes maintenance dredging of the Scarborough River Federal Navigation Project

USACE, New England District
Published Feb. 16, 2022

 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing to perform maintenance dredging of the Scarborough River Federal Navigation Project (FNP) in Scarborough, Maine.

The proposed work involves maintenance dredging and removal of up to 130,000 cubic yards of primarily sandy sediment from the entire Scarborough River FNP, an area of about 22 acres. The proposed work will restore the authorized channels and anchorage to the authorized FNP dimensions. 

The purpose of the maintenance dredging project is to meet navigational needs of existing commercial fishing and recreational vessel traffic by maintaining the FNP to authorized dimensions. Maintenance dredging was last performed in 2014, when approximately 91,500 cubic yards of material was removed from the federal channels and anchorage and placed on Western Beach in Scarborough. Since 2014, coastal storms and natural shoaling have completely blocked off the Entrance Channel at lower stages of the tide and reduced available depths at mid-tide to approximately 3 feet below Mean Lower Low Water in the Main Channel and Anchorage. This shoaling severely restricts vessel traffic and results in hazardous navigation conditions.

There are two phases of the proposed work. The first focuses on immediately improving significant navigation safety concerns in the Entrance Channel, while the second completes project maintenance in the Main Channel and Anchorage. A phased approach allows areas of critical hazard to human health and safety of the environment to be addressed with most readily available, capable equipment first, while the remainder will be undertaken with the most efficient equipment 
during a larger work window. 

The proposed work is being coordinated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Maine Department of Marine Resources, Maine Coastal Zone Management, Maine Geologic Survey, the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Tribal Nation, and the Town of Scarborough. An Environmental Assessment is being prepared and will be available for review upon request once complete.    

USACE is soliciting comments from members of the public; federal, state and local agencies; American Indian Tribes; and other interested parties to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. The public notice with more detailed information is available for review on the District website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Portals/74/docs/Navigation/NavigationPublicNotices/2022/2022-02-11-PN-Scarborough.pdf.

Public comments on this proposed work should be forwarded no later than March 18, 2022, to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Attn: Craig Martin, Programs & Project Management Division, 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742 or to nae-pn-nav@usace.army.mil.

Bryan Purtell

Release no. 22-010