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Corps of Engineers proposes maintenance dredging of Cohasset Harbor Federal navigation project in Cohasset

Published April 1, 2016

CONCORD, Mass. – At the request of the town of Cohasset, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing urgently-needed maintenance dredging of the Cohasset Harbor Federal Navigation Project (FNP) in Cohasset and Scituate, Mass. The town of Cohasset is the local sponsor.


The authorized FNP provides for an anchorage area in the inner harbor, 7-feet deep mean lower low water (MLLW) and about 16.25 acres in area; a channel 8-feet deep MLLW and 90 feet wide from the outer harbor to the anchorage area; and 12.45 acres of anchorage area, 6 feet deep MLLW as follows: 3.8 acres in Cohasset Cove, 3.25 acres in the vicinity of Government Island Cove and 5.4 acres in Bailey Creek. The Cohasset FNP was authorized by Congress in the River and Harbor Act of 1945.


The immediate proposed work involves dredging of an area in the Cohasset Harbor entrance channel that was not dredged during the fall 2015/winter 2016 maintenance cycle. “The shoal within the channel is approximately 0.75 acres in size and consists of about 4,000 cubic yards of material,” said Project Manager Craig Martin, of the Corps’ New England District, Programs/Project Management Division in Concord, Mass. “The shoal and the strong currents are creating a serious navigational hazard to vessels entering or leaving the harbor and increasing the risk of grounding.”


Additionally, other areas of the entrance channel and a section of the northern corner of the 7-foot anchorage by the breakwater were not cleared to authorized depths. No dredging occurred at the entrance to Bailey Creek where Bassing Beach has encroached into the anchorage area (2.06 acres). In total, approximately 9,000 cubic yards of material in the entrance channel and 7-foot anchorage and 11,000 cubic yards at the entrance to Bailey Creek still need to be removed.


Due to the urgent nature of the work on the entrance channel shoal, the Corps is proposing to use the Government-owned special purpose hopper dredge Currituck or mechanical dredge to remove the 4,000 cubic yards of hazardous shoal in the entrance channel over a 2-week period during May 2016. Any remaining sediment in the entrance channel, the 7-foot anchorage, and entrance to Bailey Creek Shoals will be dredged using a mechanical dredge over an 8 to 10 week period between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31. All dredged material will be transported to the previously used nearshore placement site adjacent to Green Harbor Beach in Marshfield, Mass.  


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); and town of Cohasset town manager and harbormaster. An Environmental Assessment is being prepared and will be available for review upon request. The material to be dredge has undergone physical testing and has been determined to be acceptable for disposal at the designated disposal site.


The public notice is available at: Public comments on this proposed work should be forwarded no later than April 15, 2016 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


Tim Dugan

Release no. 2016-022