Dredging plan for Delaware Bay moves forward

DOVER — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District announced Monday the dredging plan for the Delaware Bay will be submitted to Congress for authorization.

The recommendations call dredging sand from the bay to construct a dune and berm system at Bowers Beach, South Bowers Beach, Slaughter Beach, Prime Hook Beach and Lewes Beach while a berm system would be constructed at Pickering Beach and Kitts Hummock.

Initial construction of the project would be implemented in phases depending on funding and future dredging requirements. After initial construction, the sites would be eligible for periodic nourishment every six years.

The study was developed in response to damages along the Delaware Bay shoreline caused by erosion. The proposed project’s dunes and berms would reduce the risk of coastal storm damages.

The USACE Philadelphia District routinely dredges the federal shipping channel of the Delaware River and Bay to enable maritime commerce. In the future, USACE anticipates dredging approximately 930,000 cubic yards of sand from the Delaware Bay every two years.

The study, funded in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, was completed in partnership with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control.

“The chief’s report identifies an additional potential resource for the state to utilize for replenishment projects along the coast,” DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin said in a statement. “We use methods such as truck-fill or near-shore dredge sources that are currently the most economical ways to address the challenges we are facing from climate change. “If funded by Congress, this will give us another tool to consider if state resources are available.”