Meeting on Ocean City Inlet projects next week

The USACE Baltimore District, in coordination with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Worcester County, is hosting a hybrid public meeting Aug. 17, 2021, at the Worcester County Library – Berlin Branch at 13 Harrison Ave., from 7 – 8:30 p.m.

This public meeting provides an opportunity to discuss two concurrent efforts: a navigation improvement project to address sediment accumulation in the Ocean City Inlet and a study on the scour hole near Homer Gudelsky Park.

The Ocean City Inlet navigation channel is regularly used by commercial fishermen, recreational boaters, the U.S. Coast Guard, and others. USACE removes material from the inlet through dredging two or more times per year to maintain the channel’s authorized depth of 10 feet.

However, it continues to fill in with material, creating concerns for navigation.

USACE signed a project partnership agreement in 2019 with Maryland DNR and Worcester County for the Ocean City Harbor and Inlet navigation improvement project.

In this 90 percent federally funded project, USACE evaluated sediment transport in the inlet and will recommend options to manage the shoaling, including channel realignment and extension of breakwaters on northwestern Assateague Island.

The study on the approximately 50-foot-deep scour hole is 100 percent federally funded. Field investigation has concluded on this effort, and the team has used modeling to evaluate sediment movement.

The team is currently evaluating options for filling in or capping the scour hole.

Photo: USACE