Dredge Liberty Island ready for Emerald Isle

The hopper dredge Liberty Island is on schedule to arrive in Emerald Isle on February 20 to begin dredging, holding, sailing and pumping sand on the beach at Reach 1, the far west of the Carteret County beach town, as part of Phase III of the post-Florence Renourishment Project.

The Liberty Island will complete Reach 1 and then move west to east to reaches 3, 4 and 5, through central and east Emerald Isle, according to the most recent project update from the Carteret County Shore Protection office.

TowBoatUS Indian River/Lewes photo

It is anticipated that more than 2 million cubic yards of sand from the Offshore Dredged Material Disposal Site, or ODMDS, associated with Morehead City Federal Navigation Project, will be used to nourish 9.4 miles of beach in Emerald Isle for Phase III.

The larger-capacity dredge, the Ellis Island, could arrive as late as April 1 but officials are working to have the dredge arrive sooner, the Carteret County Shore Protection office reports.

If both dredges are working at the same time, the project could be completed before the April 30 environmental window closes for sea turtle nesting season and other biological resources.

The Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has been awarded the dredging contract. Phase III is similar to Phase I in 2019 and Phase II in 2020.

Photo: TowBoatUS Indian River/Lewes photo