Army Corps Begins Stage Harbor Entrance Dredging

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hopper dredge Currituck. Courty of

CHATHAM – Maintenance dredging of the Stage Harbor entrance is underway in Chatham.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers special purpose dredge, Currituck, arrived on Sunday and began operations Monday.

Shoaling of the entrance channel impacted navigation throughout the summer boating season and conditions worsened during the early fall.

The U.S. Coast Guard was also concerned that shoaling would limit their ability to respond to search and rescue operations.

The project is expected to last about three weeks.

Existing water depths and channel widths are severely restricted in the entrance channel and mariners are asked to use caution when navigating around the dredge.

The project was not originally in the Corps’ current fiscal year budget.

However, supplemental funding became available through the Additional Supplemental Appropriations Disaster Relief Act to enable emergency dredging at select Army Corps navigation projects of shoaled material deposited by natural disasters.

Chatham’s Stage Harbor entrance and Cuttyhunk Habor were the only federal navigation projects in Massachusetts chose for the emergency dredging due to critical shoaling and impacts to commercial and public safety.

The Currituck is a hopper dredge and dredged sand will be placed in the existing permitted dredge material disposal site offshore of Harding’s Beach.

The project was originally scheduled to begin in November, but the Currituck require repairs following dredging work in Cuttyhunk Harbor.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
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