Crab Bank restoration to begin soon

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), and representatives of the Town of Mount Pleasant met on April 12 to review a noteworthy adjustment to the placement location of dredged material for the Crab Bank Restoration project.

Following through on earlier commitments to re-evaluate before construction, the Corps’ recent data collection and discussions with their dredging contractor revealed that the planned construction methods would benefit from an adjusted footprint that is shifted substantially to the southeast.

“We are excited to soon begin this important project for our community,” said Lt. Col. Rachel Honderd, District Commander. “We are pleased we were able to address the concerns of the Town within the existing constraints of the approved project and appreciate the candid communication of our dredging contractor, Norfolk Dredging Company, as we performed our recent assessment.”

This adjusted footprint will allow the contractor to take advantage of more areas of existing shallow water to begin their work and also addresses the Town’s concerns by placing dredged materials further to the southeast, shifting the edge of the footprint approximately 1,400 feet further away from the mouth of Shem Creek compared to the previous plan.

Construction activity for this Beneficial Use of Dredged Material project using compatible material from the Charleston Harbor Deepening “Post 45” project is expected to begin in September and should only take a couple of months to complete.

The restoration project is sponsored by the SCDNR and calls for the one-time placement of approximately 660,000 cubic yards of compatible material from the deepened channel.

When finished, the project will create approximately 28 acres of critical nesting habitat for highly threatened populations of shorebirds that make the Lowcountry their home and delight visitors to the beautiful community and Shem Creek.

Photo: USACE