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FACT SHEET-Jamaica Bay, NY Federal Navigation Channel

Maintenance of Infrastructure and Stewardship

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Published March 5, 2021

AUTHORIZATION: Rivers and Harbors Acts of 1910 (P.L. 61-264), modified in 1945 (P.L. 79-14) and 1950 (P.L. 81-516).

DESCRIPTION: This navigation asset is located inside the south shore of Long Island Sound in Kings (Brooklyn) and Queens Counties, NY, north and west of Rockaway Beach, Queens, NY, the Rockaway Inlet entrance channel being about 17 miles by water southeast of the Battery, New York City.  This asset contains 19.5 miles of navigation channels, including an interior channel extending from vicinity of Marine Parkway Bridge along west and north shores of the bay, 18 feet deep at mean low water (MLW) and 300 feet wide to Mill Basin, with a swinging basin, 1,000 feet wide and 1,000 feet long at that point, thence 12 feet deep and 200 feet wide to Fresh Creek Basin; an interior channel extending from the same locality along south shore to Head of Bay, 15 feet deep and 200 feet wide, extending from the channel along the south shore, 3,000 feet to junction of the two branches, thence 2,200 feet in north branch (Inwood Creek) and 3,200 feet in south branch (Mott Basin); and an entrance channel connecting the two interior channels with deep water in Atlantic Ocean, of suitable hydraulic dimensions to maintain present tidal prism in the bay, but not less than 18 feet deep and 500 feet wide from opposite Barren Island to Rockaway Point, thence enlarging to not less than 20 feet deep and 1,000 feet wide to the sea.  This asset also contains one stone riprap jetty, east of the entrance channel.

COMMERCE: In 2017, the annual commercial tonnage transported through this deep-draft navigation asset was approximately 952,000 tons, compared to a five-year (2013-2017) annual average of approximately 847,000 tons, and consisted of chemicals, crude materials (building stone, sand & gravel), and petroleum & petroleum products (gasoline, fuel oils). This navigation asset specifically supports waterborne fuel transportation to Sprague Energy’s Lawrence / Inwood, Queens, NY Fuel Terminal; sludge removal from New York City water pollution control plants; and year-round public transport ferry between the Rockaways, Queens, NY and Manhattan, NY. The channels also support New York Police Department and U.S. Coast Guard maritime patrols protecting JFK International Airport.

BACKGROUND: The Rockaway Inlet entrance channel was last maintenance dredged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, when approximately 417,000 cubic yards (CY) of dredged sand was removed and beneficially used at the Historic Area Remediation Site (HARS).  Prior to that, the entrance channel was maintenance dredging in FY2009, when approximately 533,000 CY of dredged sand was removed and placed at the HARS (383,000 CY) and White Island, Brooklyn, NY in Jamaica Bay (150,000 CY).  Prior to that, the entrance channel was maintenance dredged in FY2005, when approximately 183,000 CY of dredged sand was removed and stockpiled at the U.S. National Parks Service’s Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, NY. 

STATUS: In FY2021, funds are being used for commonly performed Operations & Maintenance (O&M) work, including for expected solicitation and award of a contract for maintenance dredging of the Rockaway Inlet entrance channel.  Production of an annual hydrographic channel condition survey, and publication of a controlling depth report on the District’s website ( is also 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 

District Area: NY #’s 5, 8, 9