The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, is proposing periodic maintenance dredging of the Chatham Stage Harbor Federal Navigation Project (FNP) in Chatham, Mass.
The congressionally authorized FNP provides for an entrance channel 150 feet wide and 10 feet deep below Mean Lower Low Water, extending from Chatham Roads through Harding Beach for a distance of approximately 2.1 miles.
“The outer entrance channel portion of the FNP in Chatham Stage Harbor shoals about every 3-4 years requiring periodic maintenance dredging to restore the entrance channel,” said Project Manager Bill Kavanaugh, of the Corps’ New England District, Programs/Project Management Division in Concord, Mass.
“Maintenance dredging was performed most recently in 2009, 2010 and 2014 with the Government-owned special purpose dredge Currituck.”
Typically, 40,000 to 60,000 cubic yards of clean sand needs to be removed from the seaward portion of the channel taking about two to three months to complete. The Corps proposes to continue to use either the Currituck, or a mechanical dredge, to complete this work.
Placement of dredged material will either be at the previously used nearshore placement site off of Harding Beach, at an adjacent nearshore placement site off of Harding Beach (i.e. approximately 1,200 feet west of the previously used site), or at both of these nearshore sites.
Funding has been identified in the Fiscal Year 2016 Work Plan for maintenance of Stage Harbor. The Corps has scheduled a hydrographic survey to determine the condition of the FNP.
If maintenance is required and the approvals can be obtained in a timely manner, then maintenance may be performed in conjunction with the Currituck’s annual visit to the region this summer.
Otherwise, maintenance will be performed when needed and in the years that the necessary approvals and funds are available.