CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing maintenance dredging of the Mystic River Federal Navigation Project (FNP) in Groton and Stonington, Conn. The state of Connecticut is the local sponsor for this proposed work and the state is funding this dredging project.
Mystic River is located in southeastern Connecticut in New London County, on Fishers Island Sound, the eastern arm of Long Island Sound. The harbor forms the boundary between the towns of Stonington and Groton. The authorized Federal navigation project consists of a 15-foot channel, 125 feet from the Sound up to the railroad bridge, then 100 feet wide up to the highway bridge (U.S. Route 1); a 12-foot channel above the highway bridge to the upper wharves at the Seaport Museum; a 9-foot by 8.5-acre anchorage in the harbor north of Mason Island; and a 9-foot turning basin above the railroad bridge.
The 12-foot channel was last maintained in 1941. Dredging of the other project features was last accomplished with the improvement work in 1957. “Approximately 250,000 cubic yards of predominantly silt will be dredged from the Federal navigation project,” said Project Manager Jennifer Flanagan, of the Corps’ New England District, Programs/Project Management Division in Concord, Mass. “The dredging would restore the channels and anchorage area to authorized depths.”
A mechanical dredge using various types of clamshell buckets would remove material from the shoaled portions of the Mystic Federal navigation project and place it into scows that would be towed to either the New London Disposal Site in Long Island Sound or the Rhode Island Sound Disposal Site in Rhode Island Sound for disposal. Dredging and disposal operations are anticipated to take five to seven months to complete during the period from Sept. 1 through April 1 of the year that funding becomes available. A draft Environmental Assessment for this proposed work has been prepared and is available for review.
The proposed work is being coordinated with: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Marine Fisheries Service; Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Office of Long Island Sound Programs; Connecticut Historical Commission; Connecticut Department of Agriculture/Aquaculture; Mystic Harbor Management Commission; Groton town engineer; and Mystic Harbor Port Authority.
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 Feb. 28, 2014 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Programs/Project Management Division (ATTN: Ms. Jennifer Flanagan), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751 or by email to email@example.com.