Congressman Andy Harris, Representing the First District of Maryland, will visit two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects around Smith Island on Saturday, April 7.
The projects, currently underway, entail the construction of two jetties to improve navigation at Rhodes Point and dredging the Big Thorofare and Twitch Cove federal channels.
These development programs, conducted in coordination with Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Somerset County, include:
- realignment of a portion of the federal navigation channel in Sheep Pen Gut through dredging;
- construction of two jetties to prevent shoaling in the channel and to reduce the continual need for dredging;
- creation of a stone sill along the shoreline to prevent further erosion and contain the clean dredged material from the project.
While the project’s primary purpose is for navigation improvement, the project area will also benefit from wetland restoration and protection. Native vegetation will be planted on the placed dredged material behind the stone sill to restore or enhance about 5 acres of wetlands.
In addition, approximately 10 acres of existing wetlands south of the federal channel behind the newly-restored acres will be protected.
Following the USACE project visits, Congressman Harris will host his 68th town hall meeting on Smith Island.