The Army Corps of Engineers will dredge a 10-foot channel in the Oak Bluffs harbor in the coming weeks, to improve navigation and provide safe access for boats entering the marina.
There was a 30-day public comment period on the plan nearly six years ago. No comments were received.
This week the Corps released updated details about the project. While the project approved six years ago called for 5,800 cubic yards of sand to be removed, the amount has now been reduced to 3,500 cubic yards, as the town conducted an emergency dredge of the harbor in 2006.
The Corps’ statement said natural shoaling has reduced depth in parts of the entrance channel to as little as six and a half feet, making it hazardous and difficult for passenger ferries, fishing boats and other craft to traverse safely.
“The proposed work would remove the areas that have shoaled and deepen the existing channel to provide safe access to the harbor at all tide stages. About one acre of the channel bottom would be dredged,” the statement said.
The dredge will be done with a hydraulic hopper dredge, the federally owned Currituck.
The sandy material from the channel will be shifted to an area a mile east.
The entire channel was last dredged by the town in 1971-1972, and an emergency dredge was conducted in 2006 to remove dangerous shoaling.