The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New England District announced plans to perform maintenance dredging of the Rye Harbor Federal navigation project (FNP) in Rye, New Hampshire. A comment period for the project runs through March 27.
The FNP consists of a channel that is 100 feet wide and 10 feet deep at mean lower low water, extending 600 feet through the entrance between the outer breakwaters and then becoming 8 feet deep for another 1,700 feet to the state pier and boat ramp in the inner harbor. A 6-foot deep, 5-acre anchorage is located to the north of the 8-foot channel, and an 8-foot deep anchorage of the same size is located to the south. Maintenance dredging would require the removal of 50,000 cubic yards of silt and fine-sand, to bring the FNP to its authorized dimensions. Dredging will most likely be conducted using a mechanical dredge. The dredge material has been determined to be suitable for unconfined open-water placement and will be placed by scow at either the Isles of Shoals North Disposal Site (IOSN) or Cape Arundel Disposal Site (CADS). The IOSN is approximately 12.5 nautical miles east of Rye Harbor and CADS is approximately 22 nautical miles northeast
Dredging will be performed during a 3 to 4 month period between November 1 and April 30, during the year(s) in which funds becomes available.
Rye Harbor is a 40-acre estuarine embayment located approximately five miles south of Portsmouth Harbor and thirteen miles north of the Merrimack River. There is a commercial fishing pier in the harbor, as well as a recreational boat ramp in the inner harbor.
The State of New Hampshire is the local sponsor for the Rye Harbor FNP and for the proposed maintenance dredging project. The New Hampshire Port Authority has indicated a desire to dredge the state anchorage within Rye Harbor at the same time that the federal dredging takes place.
Any person who has an interest, which may be affected by the dredging and placement of this dredged material may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the district engineer and must clearly set forth the interest, which may be affected and the manner in which the interest may be affected by this activity. Comments are invited from all interested parties and should be directed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01y742-2751, ATTN: Michael Walsh; or emailed to nae-pn-nav usace.army.mil by March 27.