The New England Engineer District is proposing periodic maintenance dredging of the Chatham Stage Harbor Federal Navigation Project in Chatham Massachusetts. The congressionally authorized project provides for an entrance channel 150 feet wide and 10 feet below Mean Lower Low Water extending from Chatham Roads through Harding Beach for a distance of about 2.1 miles.
Bill Kavanaugh project manager of the New England District said “The outer entrance channel portion of the FNP in Chatham Stage harbor shoals about a 3-4 years requiring periodic maintenance dredging to restore the entrance channel. Maintenance dredging was most recently per-formed in 2009 2010 and 2014 with the government-owned special purpose dredge Currituck.”
Typically between 40000 and 60000 cubic yards of clean sand needs to be removed from the seaward portion to the channel taking two to three months to complete. The Corps proposes to either continue using the Currituck or another mechanical dredge. Dredged material will be placed either at the Harding Beach placement site or at an adjacent nearshore site. Funding has been identified in FY2016 for the Stage Harbor maintenance. If hydrographic surveys are completed on time the dredging may be done by the Currituck during its annual visit; otherwise it will be performed when needed and in the years that approvals and funds are available. An Environmental Assessment is being prepared.