NEW YORK -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractor Weeks Marine Inc., of Cranford, N.J. has begun before-dredging surveys of the Moriches Inlet and bay. The first of three tug-boat shipments of submergible pipe has arrived on August 25, 2018. Two more shipments of equipment are scheduled to arrive within the next couple of weeks, which all together will comprise the needed five-mile pipeline.
The $10M emergency maintenance dredging project will remove hazardous shoals, a shallow formation of sand that is a navigation or grounding hazard to U.S. Coast Guard and recreational vessels.
A series of Nor’easters earlier this year created a safety issue, making it difficult for U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue team vessels to respond to lifesaving missions within Moriches Bay or the Atlantic Ocean in this portion of the region.
The work will involve dredging and removing approximately 158,000 cubic yards of sand, to be beneficially reused five miles west of Moriches Inlet to not waste the sand and to provide additional coastal storm risk reduction measures for the Smith Point County Park Pavilion and the barrier island.
The maintenance dredging will restore Moriches Inlet to its federally authorized depth of 10 feet deep and 200 feet wide, and estimated to be completed in mid-October 2018.
"This mobilization effort will play a key role in emergency maintenance dredging work for Moriches Inlet,” said New York District Commander Col. Thomas Asbery.
“We are one step closer to ensuring the safety and vitality of the Moriches Inlet and its boater community. Safety continues to be one of the Corps top priorities and we will also be able to beneficially reuse this sand to improve coastal storm risk reduction measures at Smith Point County Park, providing additional benefits for the community. I’d like to thank members of congress, the U.S. Coast Guard, New York State DEC and our higher headquarters for their support in helping to address this issue.”
Additional equipment will arrive after Labor Day weekend, consisting of landside pipes, bulldozers, rubber-tired front-end loaders, construction trailers, and will be delivered by truck to the beach area of Smith Point County Park, N.Y.
In April 2018, the Army Corps' New York District received an Emergency Declaration from its North Atlantic Division to perform emergency dredging of the Moriches Inlet. The emergency declaration allowed for expedited coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the listed endangered bird species, Piping Plover; the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding relevant fisheries species, the U.S. Coast Guard – Sector Long Island; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the State of New York Department of State.
New York District is responsible for the Corps’ water resources development, navigation and regulatory activities in northeastern New Jersey, eastern and south-central New York State, and parts of Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The district is also responsible for design and construction at Army and Air Force installations in New Jersey, New York, and Greenland. The District also provides support following disasters and for the Global War on Terror.