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FACT SHEET-Great South Bay, New York - Maintenance of Infrastructure & Stewardship

Federal Navigation Channel - Maintenance of Infrastructure and Stewardship

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Published Dec. 20, 2023

DESCRIPTION: The original project provides for a navigation channel 10 feet deep, 200 feet wide from Fire Island Inlet to the Central Basin in Great South Bay opposite Patchogue, thence 100 feet wide to mile 18.9 in the Patchogue River with a turning basin at the upper end at a depth of 11 feet, thence 8 feet deep to the upstream limit of the projects. A reconnaissance report on Operations and Maintenance prepared in July 1979 concluded that no maintenance dredging is justified below 8 feet Mean Low Water for the entire channel length. The authorized navigation channel project was last constructed in 1986. Only 55% of the authorized full navigation channel has been funded and constructed to date. 

AUTHORIZATION: The Federal channel was authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 13 June 1902 and modified in 1970.

COMMERCE: Annual commercial tonnage reported is approximately 2,300 tons consisting of waste and scrap material valued at $1.4 million. Fire Island Ferries, Inc., Sayville Ferry Service, Inc., and Davis Park Ferry Co., along with other commercial and recreational marine interests and the US Coast Guard, use this channel that provides safe navigation within the Great South Bay area between Fire Island Inlet and Patchogue, NY. Ferries bring 30,000 passengers to the National Seashore resulting in $12-15 million in annual revenue for the Patchogue area alone.  2016 recorded 22,000 trips by vessels.

BACKGROUND: The last maintenance dredging was performed during Fiscal Year 2014, to restore the critically shoaled areas of Great South Bay Federal channel back to authorized dimensions with approximately 100,000 cubic yards of sand dredged placed along the ocean-side beach at Robert Moses State Park and as an emergency stockpile in Field Area 5.  Previous maintenance dredging was performed in 2008 and in 1969.

STATUS: During FY2024, funding will provide for commonly performed Operations & Maintenance (O&M) work including monitoring of the channel shoaling conditions and coordination with the users and stakeholders.  The production of an annual hydrographic condition survey and publication of the Controlling Depth Report on the District’s website below, are also scheduled for FY2024.




Jun Yan, P.E.
Asset / Project Manager
P: (917) 790-8437
Email:  jun.yan@usace.army.mil
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
26 Federal Plaza
New York, NY 10278


District Area: NY #1, #2