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Corps of Engineers proposes maintenance dredging of Royal River Federal Navigation Project in Yarmouth, Maine

Published Feb. 28, 2013

CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing maintenance dredging of the Royal River Federal Navigation Project in Yarmouth, Maine. The Federal project consists of an 8-foot Federal navigation channel with a project depth of – 8 feet at Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) and the 6-foot Federal anchorage area with a project depth of – 6 feet MLLW.


Dredging is needed to restore the 8-foot Federal channel and the 6-foot Federal anchorage area in the Royal River to authorized dimensions. “Natural shoaling processes have reduced available depths in portions of the channel to less than 2 feet,” said Project Manager Mike Walsh, of the Corps’ New England District, Programs/Project Management Division. “This shoaling is currently impeding safe navigation by commercial and recreational vessels.”


Officials from the state of Maine and the town of Yarmouth have requested that this project be maintained. The proposed work consists of the maintenance dredging of about 60,000 cubic yards of sediments from approximately 22 acres in the channel and anchorage. 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 river and place it in scows which will be towed by tug to the Portland Disposal Site, about 15 miles away, where the material will be released.


The work will be accomplished over about a five- to six-month period in the year or years in which funds become available. The contractor will be allowed to dredge 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The last maintenance dredging was in 1996-1997 when approximately 88,000 cubic yards of material were dredged and disposed of at the Portland Disposal Site. The environmental work window when dredging is allowed is between Nov. 1 and April 30.


The proposed work is being coordinated with these Federal, state and local agencies: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Marine Fisheries Service; Maine Department of Environmental Protection; Maine State Planning Office; Maine Department of Marine Resources; Maine State Historic Preservation Commission; the town of Yarmouth and the harbor master.


The public notice for this proposed work, with more detailed information, is available for review on the Corps website at: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/PublicNotices.aspx


Public comments on this proposed work should be forwarded no later than April 1, 2013 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Programs/Project Management Division (ATTN: Mr. Mike Walsh), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751 or by email to nae-pn-nav@usace.army.mil.


Tim Dugan

Release no. 2013-018