The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Baltimore District, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA), is preparing a supplemental environmental assessment (sEA) for the Barren Island component of the Mid-Chesapeake Bay Islands Ecosystem Restoration Project.
Barren Island is an element of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
The Mid-Chesapeake Bay Islands Ecosystem Restoration Project recommends remote island restoration at James Island and Barren Island, both on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and in Dorchester County, MD, through the beneficial use of dredged material, said USACE.
The authorized project consists of restoring Barren Island (72 acres), which is 100 percent wetland, in combination with the restoration of James Island (2,072 acres), with a habitat proportion of 45 percent upland to 55 percent wetland and an upland dike height of 20 feet above mean lower low water.
The project will restore a combined 2,144 acres of remote island habitat, while also protecting approximately 1,325 acres of potential submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) adjacent to Barren Island.
Restoration of the islands will occur by the beneficial use of approximately 90 to 95 million cubic yards (MCY) of dredged material over a period of more than 30 years. The sources of the dredged material are the federal navigation channels in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay serving Baltimore Harbor and the southern Chesapeake and Delaware Canal approach channels.