Pleasure Island Dredging Project Completed

posted in: Environmental Issues | 0

Baltimore County has nearly completed the Pleasure Island dredging and beach replenishment project paid for by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and its partners. Using a combination of Waterway Improvement funds from DNR, federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, and funds from the Maryland Port Administration, this project will restore safe access to the navigation channel for recreational and commercial vessels.

“This is truly money well spent since it supports Baltimore County’s vibrant recreational boating industry while enhancing water quality and providing habitat for marine life,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. ”This project will improve the waters of the county and the Chesapeake Bay.”

Baltimore County dredged the channel between the Miller’s Island Community and Pleasure Island to a depth of -8 foot mean lower low water (mllw) and will use the dredge material to create a beach behind a series of offshore segmented breakwaters and sills along the south shoreline of Pleasure Island. The newly created beach will be stabilized with wetland vegetation. The total shoreline length is about 2,200 feet.

Additionally, the county constructed a groin along the north side of the Island at Hawk Cove to help trap sand that was deposited in the channel.

The next step in the project is to plant wetland vegetation on the beach of Pleasure Island to create a living shoreline, improving water quality and clarity. Additionally, the project will reduce the need for maintenance dredging of the Pleasure Island channel known as “the cut.”

Of the $4.7 million project cost, the Waterway Improvement Fund contributed about $1.9 million. The Waterway Improvement Fund is funded by the 5 percent excise tax that boaters pay when they register a boat in Maryland. The Port Administration contributed $100,000 and the remaining costs were covered by the federal ARRA.

The project will benefit thousands of recreational and commercial boaters by restoring boating access and improving navigation of the Pleasure Island channel. “The cut” is used as a safe navigation channel to access protected waters.

source: MD DNR

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