The dredging of two critical reaches in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway near Breach Inlet, off Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms, and Jeremy Creek in McClellanville has been completed.
The Wilco, an 18 inch cutterhead dredge, owned and operated by Southwind Construction, was hard at work in the waters, making the waterway safer for passage of commercial and recreational vessels.
These are heavily-traveled areas of the waterway, where increased shoaling had created a safety concern, especially at low tide.
Breach Inlet is considered one of the main thoroughfares of commercial boaters and had become treacherously shallow. The dredging project restored a 10 foot depth to this area.
Jeremy Creek is utilized by the commercial seafood industry that supplies the local restaurants with fresh catches, which is an important part of the local economy. Dredging the reach to eight feet allowed the industry to keep thriving.
The District partnered with Charleston County to fund this project. The County paid $500,000 of the $2.6 million cost to remove 250,000 cubic yards of material from Breach Inlet and 110,000 cubic yards from Jeremy Creek.
That is roughly equivalent to 25,000 dump trucks of material taken out of Breach Inlet and 11,000 dump trucks out of Jeremy Creek. The dredged material was placed in Charleston District disposal sites close to each area.
The last time the waterway was dredged in various areas was six years ago using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.