Smith Island Comment Period Ends

The deadline for sending comments on the proposed navigation improvement project at Rhodes Point/Smith Island ended on Friday, July 7, according to the the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District.

The comments are sought on an Environmental Assessment for the project in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

According to Col. Ed Chamberlayne, district commander, people living on Smith Island rely on channels for transportation to schools and the delivery of critical goods and services; the water supports their livelihoods.

This project increases navigational clearance, so boaters don’t run aground due to shoaling, and it provides boaters from Rhodes Point and Tylerton with more direct access to the Chesapeake Bay,” said Col. Ed Chamberlayne.

The project includes realignment of a portion of the federal navigation channel in Sheep Pen Gut through hydraulic dredging; construction of two jetties to prevent shoaling in the channel and to reduce the continual need for dredging; and creation of a stone sill along the shoreline to prevent further erosion and contain the clean dredged material from the project. Wetland restoration and protection is a secondary benefit of the project.

USACE also announced that the construction contract for the works is anticipated for award in late summer/early fall, if all necessary requirements are met.