AUTHORIZATION: Rivers and Harbors Act of 1925.
DESCRIPTION: This navigation asset provides for a channel, 8 feet deep, 100 feet wide from deep water in Hempstead Harbor to the head of navigation at the City of Glen Cove, Nassau County, NY.
COMMERCE: As of 2017, the annual commercial tonnage transported through this navigation asset was 75,000 tons, which consisted entirely of building stone. The creek also supports recreational boating, including several commercial marinas.
BACKGROUND: The outer portion of the channel was last maintenance dredged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2001. Dredging was suspended in April 2001 due to the discovery of an oil layer sediment in the creek and radiation in dredged material at the upland dewatering site in May 2001. Subsequent investigation revealed that the radiological contamination was caused by discrete pieces of ore or slag, varying in size from pea gravel to cobbles. A stop work order was issued and radiological contamination signs were posted. The Corps provided assistance to decontaminate and demobilize (including the two scows with dredged material in the creek) the contractor’s equipment on site. All equipment was decontaminated and demobilized. Additional sampling of the creek sediment for radiological and oil contamination was completed and the report was submitted by the contractor (Cabrera) in March 2002. The report concluded that significant thorium contamination was present in the creek sediments. The radiological contaminated material in the dewatering site was segregated by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the summer of 2002 and stored in the Dixon Warehouse for eventual disposal. The City of Glen Cove disposed of the remaining non-radioactive dredged material (to N. Hempstead Landfill) from the dewatering site in November/December 2002. USACE was not able to complete the dredging of the creek, which was contaminated with radiation, at that time due to the fact it was incorporated into the ongoing Superfund cleanup project in the adjacent upland areas. The dewatering operations at the Li-Tungsten site during the 2000 maintenance cycle left portions of the bulkhead damaged and unstable. The damaged bulkhead was repaired during FY2005. Dredging of the remaining portions of the creek was performed for EPA under the Superfund program. The project was completed in March 2007, and overseen by New York District.
STATUS: This navigation asset is currently in caretaker status. Production of an annual hydrographic channel condition survey, and publication of a controlling depth report on the District’s website (https://www.nan.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/Controlling-Depth-Reports/) is scheduled for FY2021.
Alexander F. Gregory
Asset / Project Manager
P: (917) 790-8427
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
26 Federal Plaza
New York, NY 10278
Congressional District: NY-03