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Corps proposes maintenance dredging of Menemsha Creek Federal navigation project in Chilmark, Aquinnah

Published June 10, 2014

CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing maintenance dredging of the Menemsha Creek Federal Navigation Project (FNP) in Chilmark and Aquinnah, Mass.


The proposed work involves urgently needed maintenance dredging to remove various shoals in the channel and anchorage basin of the Federal navigation project. Shoaling in these areas was made significantly worse as a result of Hurricane Sandy and subsequent nor’easter storms. The shoaling is creating hazardous conditions for commercial fishermen and boaters.  


The existing FNP consists of an entrance channel 10 feet deep relative to Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW), 80 feet wide and 700 feet long, extending between two jetties (part of the FNP) at the northern entrance to Menemsha Creek; an 8-foot deep (MLLW) channel, 80 feet wide and 1.2 miles long, extending south from the number 4 red channel marker to deep water in Menemsha Pond; and an anchorage basin, situated in the northeastern portion of the creek, that is 10 feet deep (MLLW) in the northern section and 6 feet deep (MLLW) in the southern section.


“The proposed work consists of maintenance dredging of about 62,000 cubic yards of sediments from the shoaled areas in the channel and anchorage area,” said Project Manager Craig Martin, of the Corps’ New England District, Programs/Project Management Division in Concord, Mass. “Sandy dredged material will be placed on Lobsterville Beach, located to the west of the Federal navigation project, in a beneficial manner to reduce erosion impacts to an arterial road that provides access to several homes and a state boat ramp.”


Work will be performed over a two- to three-month period, between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31, in the year in which funds become available.


The 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; the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; Massachusetts Historic Preservation Office; Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources; the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe; the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah); the town of Chilmark; and the town of Aquinnah. An Environmental Assessment is being prepared and will be available for review upon request.


The public notice is available at: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/PublicNotices.aspx. Public comments on this proposed work should be forwarded no later than July 6, 2014 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Programs/Project Management Division (ATTN: Mr. Craig Martin), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751 or by email to nae-pn-nav@usace.army.mil.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2014-078