The town of Edgartown previously applied to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, to conduct work in waters of the U. S. in conjunction with dredging waterways and placing sand on beach areas at several locations in Edgartown, Massachusetts. A public notice for this work was issued on August 20, 2013.
A revised public is being issued to incorporate the maintenance dredging of the existing Little Bridge-North Inlet Channel into the town’s permit application. Dredge sediments from this site are proposed to be used for beach nourishment along Sylvia State, Pay, and Inkwell Beaches.
The rest of the project remains the same as previously announced last year. Included in that request, the town proposes dredging and the discharge of dredged material below the high tide line of waters of the U.S. for the maintenance dredging and beach nourishment of several sites in Edgartown in order to maintain navigation within multiple waterways and the nourishment of multiple town beaches. A total volume of about 200,000 cubic yards of sand and silt material would be removed by both mechanical and hydraulic means and disposed of below and above the high tide line of about 18 acres of town beaches. All of the dredging and beach nourishment sites have been authorized in the past under separate permits.
The purpose of this permit review is to bring all of the town’s dredging and beach nourishment maintenance activities under one comprehensive permit. This will give the town the flexibility they need to dredge and nourish the highest priority areas and allow for effective and efficient use of town resources. The permit would be valid for 10 years.
The dredging portion of the project will impact about 40 acres and the beach nourishment portion of the project will impact about 18 acres of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. Habitat at this site can be described as subtidal silt and sand. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect these species. The Corps has made a preliminary determination that the site-specific adverse effect will not be substantial. Further consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding EFH conservation recommendations is being conducted and will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.
Press Release, May 28, 2014