Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) is conducting emergency dredging to restore navigability in the Murderkill River while also replenishing the eroding shoreline at South Bowers Beach.
The $2.3 million project which began earlier this month includes removal of approximately 52,000 cubic yards of sediment from the river’s navigation channel. The dredged sand is being used to nourish up to 1,000 feet of eroding shoreline at South Bowers Beach.
The Murderkill River is a federally-authorized navigation project that requires periodic dredging to maintain the safety and navigable access to the river, critically important to commercial and emergency vessels as well as recreational boating.
In early 2022, DNREC removed sand from the Murderkill Inlet’s navigation channel but was limited by having to use a land-based excavator, and navigation continued to be challenge at low tide, especially in the mile-long approach channel to the Inlet. Now, Cottrell Contracting Corp. of Chesapeake, Va., deployed a cutter suction dredge to deepen the channel.
If all goes according to schedule, the Murderkill River dredging project will be completed by the end of August.