Brant Beach reconstruction, Long Beach Island, New Jersey, in 2012. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / BOEM

NJ - Dredging of Oyster Creek Channel Anticipated for Fall Start

A project to deepen certain areas of the Intracoastal Waterway off Long Beach Island is expected to begin in November, nearly a year after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a contract to address shoaling issues in the channel from Cape May north to the Island.

The ICW is a 3,000-mile inland waterway running from Boston south along the Atlantic seaboard, around the southern tip of Florida and along the Gulf Coast to Brownsville, Texas. It runs through the bay areas west of LBI.  

Steve Rochette, public affairs officer for the Army Corps, Philadelphia District, said earlier this month the plan is to dredge the Oyster Creek Channel in Barnegat Bay, just north of Barnegat Inlet, in November.  

“After that, things are still to be determined,” Rochette said.  

In November 2019, the Army Corps awarded a more than yearlong contract to Barnegat Bay Dredging Co., based in Harvey Cedars, to dredge specific areas of the ICW in an effort to help the Coast Guard maintain aids to navigation in one of the most traversed areas of the ICW. Barnegat Bay Dredging began working in the Cape May-Lewes ferry area in November 2019 before moving to Ocean City and then Avalon, where a navigational channel, due to shoaling, basically didn’t exist prior to dredging. There is no work being performed in the ICW during the busy summer season.  

Coast Guard officials have said if the project accomplishes what it intends, it could allow for a large cutter to navigate the ICW to remove old pilings and drive new ones for channel markers.

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