Narrow River Dredging Project Continues

Photo courtesy of RI CRMC

Work has been ongoing for about two weeks now along the Narrow River as part of the salt marsh restoration and elevation pilot project.

The contractor, Patriot Marine has been dredging down near Sedge Island since the start of December.

The crew is approximately one-third of the way dredging one of the sections planned for this area, though work was halted unexpectedly on Monday, Dec. 5 because of mechanical issues, the officials said.

According to the latest update, work resumed later in the week, once the new piece arrived. Patriot Marine has been working long hours since beginning, and dredging and production is going as expected.

The dredged materials taken during the works will be dispersed on the adjacent marsh surface to slightly increase the marsh’s elevation, primarily in areas where the vegetation has died off or become stressed from prolonged flooding. These areas will be replanted with marsh grasses.

From Narrow River Kayaks south to Sedge Island, crews are depositing material from the river onto different areas of the marsh. The dredge footprint creates an approximately 65-foot wide channel in the river. Sand from the river is being used to help elevate the marshes on the eastern side.

A new low-flow method of dredging is being used to protect the existing marsh plants. Marine dredging is only permitted in the fall and winter months to avoid impacts to fish species such as flounder.

Officials also added that the dredge equipment is currently mounted on barges in the river. Discharge pipes extend from the dredge onto the marsh to the east, and construction equipment is on the marsh to spread and grade the sand that is pumped from the river. The work progressing from south to north, starting at Sedge Island, just before Sprague Bridge, and ending just south of Middle Bridge.

 

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