NEW YORK -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, has begun emergency dredging of Moriches Inlet navigation channel to remove hazardous shoals, a shallow formation of sand that is a navigation or grounding hazard to U.S. Coast Guard and recreational vessels, following a series of Nor’easters from March 2018. These conditions have created a safety issue, making it difficult for U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue boats to respond to lifesaving missions within Moriches Bay or the Atlantic Ocean in this portion of the region.
On April 17th, 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.
The work involves dredging and removal of an estimated 158,000 cubic yards of sand, which is being beneficially reused 5 miles west of Moriches Inlet to provide additional coastal storm risk reduction measures for Smith Point County Park. Work is currently underway and scheduled for completion by November 1st 2018.
The emergency dredging is being done to restore Moriches Inlet to its federally authorized depth of 10 feet deep and 200 feet wide. The project uses a Cutter Suction Dredge and 30,000 linear feet of submerged pipeline that will transfer up to 12,000 cubic yards of sand a day, 5 miles to Smith Point County Park where bulldozers will shape the sand to provide additional coastal storm risk reduction measures for this area.
"The Corps of Engineers is extremely excited to perform the emergency dredging of Moriches Inlet to restore safe navigation for the residents of Long Island,” said New York District Commander Col. Thomas D. Asbery. “Safety continues to be one of the Corps’ top priorities and we are beneficially reusing this sand to supplement coastal storm risk reduction measures at Smith Point County Park, and provide additional benefits for the area. I’d like to thank members of congress, the U.S. Coast Guard, New York State DEC, members of the Department of Interior's US Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Park Service as well as our higher headquarters for their support in helping the New York District expedite this important issue.”