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Great Salt Pond Navigation Project

Great Salt Pond

Great Salt Pond in New Shoreham is located along the western shore of Block Island, an 11-square-mile island lying 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island and 15 miles northeast of New York’s Long Island. Great Salt Pond stretches about 1.2 miles southeast to a smaller pond, known as Inner Harbor or Trim Pond. Together, both ponds nearly bisect Block Island. Inner Harbor is used by the local fishing fleet as well as outside fishermen who use Inner Harbor as a base during the spring and summer. Inner Harbor is also used by commercial passenger lines carrying summer visitors to the island, and a number of local and transient recreational craft.

The project, completed in 1905, consists of:

  • A 0.6-mile-long entrance channel extending from the ocean to the pond. The channel is generally 18 feet deep and 300 feet wide.
  • A 1,691-foot-long stone jetty on the southern side of the entrance channel. About 837 feet were built by the state; the Corps built the remaining 854 feet.
  • Stone revetments on both sides of the entrance channel.
  • Sand fences situated south of the entrance channel.