Scarborough River dredging project on the table

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing to perform maintenance dredging of the Scarborough River Federal Navigation Project (FNP) in Scarborough, Maine.

The proposed work involves maintenance dredging and removal of up to 130,000 cubic yards of primarily sandy sediment from the entire Scarborough River FNP, an area of about 22 acres.

The purpose of the maintenance dredging project is to meet navigational needs of existing commercial fishing and recreational vessel traffic by maintaining the FNP to authorized dimensions.

Maintenance dredging was last performed in 2014, when approximately 91,500 cubic yards of material was removed from the federal channels and anchorage and placed on Western Beach in Scarborough.

Since 2014, coastal storms and natural shoaling have completely blocked off the Entrance Channel at lower stages of the tide and reduced available depths at mid-tide to approximately 3 feet below Mean Lower Low Water in the Main Channel and Anchorage. This shoaling severely restricts vessel traffic and results in hazardous navigation conditions.

There are two phases of the proposed work. The first focuses on immediately improving significant navigation safety concerns in the Entrance Channel, while the second completes project maintenance in the Main Channel and Anchorage.

According to the Corps, this phased approach allows areas of critical hazard to human health and safety of the environment to be addressed with most readily available, capable equipment first, while the remainder will be undertaken with the most efficient equipment during a larger work window.

Photo: USACE