Island Free Press

NC - Waterways Commission works toward year-round dredging

Members of the Dare County Waterways Commission are seeking permission for two more rounds of emergency dredging in the South Ferry Channel in Hatteras Inlet.

The commission met online July 12.

A request has been submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers for dredging in late July.

“The channel is not in good shape,” said Chairman Steve “Creature” Coulter after the meeting. “A boat ran aground yesterday, and a boat ran aground today… We really need to get (the Corps) back in again as soon as possible, so the Coast Guard can do their search and rescue missions, charter boats can continue working, and commercial fisherman can continue working.”

Special permission is needed for every dredging event outside of the permitted environmental window of Oct. 1 through March 31, and a request is also being made in advance to do a late August dredging of the channel as well.

“We submitted all of the info to the agencies on Friday, and we will check back this week,” said Todd Horton with the Corps of Engineers. “Hopefully, that will get us through (the summer) until the window opens up.”

As a long-term plan to keep the inlet open and navigable, the Waterways Commission has been working for more than a year to enact changes that would allow the Corps to dredge the channel whenever it was required, all year long, and without obtaining permission first.

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