Wellfleet Harbor Dredging Project in Line for 2020 Funding


Low tide and high silt runs moored boats aground in Wellfleet Harbor.

WELLFLEET – Officials in Wellfleet are celebrating after learning that the town’s long awaited harbor dredging project is in line to receive federal funding through President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget.

The federal channel, which provides access to the marina from Cape Cod Bay, has not been dredged in over 20 years.

Natural shoaling in the federal navigation channel has created hazards during low tides due to reduced depths.

The federal channel and inner harbor are getting filled with a black sludge that is causing issues for shellfishing and boating.

Town Administrator Daniel Hoort had been saying that the toll of the problem was reaching the point where the town may have been forced to self-finance the project – going so far as to establish a dredging task force earlier this year.

 “To dredge the federal channel an estimate has been that it would cost in an area of $5 million so obviously we can’t do that in the operating budget,” Hoort said.

Town officials have discussed the plan with the local office of the Army Corps and could use the permits that have already been secured.

“We are going to work simultaneously with the Army Corps of Engineers here in the Massachusetts office, which I think fully supports the project,” Hoort said.

“Due to environmental concerns there is just a time frame that is basically in the late fall and very early winter when this dredging can actually be done.”

“Wellfleet Harbor is the economic engine for the Town of Wellfleet and a regional hub for tourism and commerce,” said Senator Ed Markey, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee that has oversight of the Army Corps of Engineers. 

“I’m proud to help secure $5 million of federal funding in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Budget to dredge this critical artery of commerce and recreation. I will fight to secure all $5 million through the Congressional appropriations process, for this project will have real benefits for public safety, public access, and the Outer Cape economy for years to come.”

“I am pleased that the much-needed and long overdue funding to dredge the federal navigable channel in Wellfleet Harbor was included in the President’s proposed budget.  The harbor dredging project is of critical importance to the Town of Wellfleet, and securing this vital funding has been one of my top priorities over the last five years,” said 9th District Congressman William Keating.

The entire project to dredge the harbor has an estimated price tag of $20 million and would have a three year timetable.

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