Little Narragansett Bay Dredging Plan Unveiled

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, is proposing maintenance dredging of rock and hard packed sand from portions of the Pawcatuck River, Little Narragansett Bay, and Watch Hill Cove Federal Navigation Project (FNP) in Westerly, Rhode Island, and Stonington, Connecticut.

The state of Rhode Island is the local sponsor for the proposed work.

This scheme involves maintenance dredging of up to 2,600 cubic yards of hard packed sand and approximately 750 to 1,000 cubic yards of rock and cobble material from this section of the project. The rocks are a navigational hazard at lower stages of the tide.

The proposed rock removal and dredging will remove hard packed sand and rocks from approximately 34,600 square feet of the authorized project area.

The authorized Federal navigation project provides for a 10-foot deep Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) channel, 100-feet wide from Stonington Point through Little Narragansett Bay to Avondale, a length of about 3 miles, to the lower wharves in Westerly, a length of about 4 miles, and then 40-feet wide between lower and upper wharves of Westerly to 7-feet deep; a 10-foot deep channel, 100-feet wide, from the mouth of the river into Watch Hill Cove; a 16-acre anchorage basin in the Cove, 10-feet deep; and a 200-foot long riprap jetty near the southwest corner of the basin.

Dredging will be performed with a mechanical dredge, the government-owned “Snell.”

The government-owned special purpose hopper dredge “Currituck” will be used as the scow. The rock material (with some sand) will be placed adjacent to rock outcroppings off of the Maschaug area of Westerly, approximately 6 miles from the channel, seaward of the 30-foot depth contour.

Scows containing primarily sand will transit to a nearshore site off of Misquamicut Beach for placement.

The work is planned to take place over a three-week period during October 2015.

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