Rye Harbor is located about five miles south of Portsmouth Harbor. Roughly rectangular in shape, Rye Harbor is about 2,000 feet long, 900 feet wide, and 39 acres in area. It is used by lobstering and fishing fleets, charter boats, and recreational craft.
In 1941, the state built an eight-foot-deep anchorage, about 10 acres in area, at the head of the harbor. The Corps project was completed in 1962 and consists of:
- A 2,300-foot-long channel, 100 feet wide, extending from the ocean to the head of the harbor, immediately north of the state-built anchorage. The channel is 10 feet deep for its first 600 feet, then becomes eight feet deep for 1,700 feet, to the head of the harbor.
- A six-foot-deep anchorage, five acres in area, on the north side of the channel.
- An eight-foot-deep anchorage, five acres in area, on the south side of the channel.
- The repair and restoration of two existing state-built breakwaters situated on each side of the harbor entrance. The north breakwater is 540 feet long, and the south breakwater is 530 feet long. The breakwaters were constructed in 1939.
- The removal of two small ledge areas (this work was done in 1964).