MRBA, USACE Continue Talks on Merrimack and Piscataqua Dredging

The Merrimack River Beach Alliance (MRBA) is continuing discussion about plans to dredge sand from the Merrimack and Piscataqua Rivers, the Daily News of Newburyport informs.

MRBA met with Department of Conservation and the U.S. Army Corps Engineers representatives last week to discuss plans for the project, which aims to dredge 600,000 cubic yards of sand from the two rivers and use it to build up beaches affected by erosion in Salisbury and Newbury.

The project is being funded by a $2 million environmental bond bill, which would only be able to cover one of the projects, Massachusetts Senator, Bruce Tarr, said.

Tarr added that for this reason, the Piscataqua River project may not continue, but the alliance and state officials plan to apply for a pilot program that would give them a non-federal sponsorship and allow them to complete both projects.

According to the Daily News, the senator said that while exact locations where the sand will be dumped have not been determined, models are being created to help determine the locations that would best benefit the beaches.

Once the models are complete, team members will be able to begin the process of acquiring permits.

The group’s next meeting will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 5, at the Plum Island Taxpayers’ Association Hall.

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