It's on us. Share your news here.

Dredging Begins in Ocean City’s Inlet

The Army Corps of Engineers dredge working in the inlet in Ocean City on Monday, August 21st.

Posted on August 23, 2023

On Saturday, August 19th, one of the Army Corps of Engineers dredges made it to Ocean City. By Monday, August 21st, the dredge was out in full force, scooping up material from the inlet.

The Army Corps tells WBOC the dredge is expected to stay in the inlet until August 30th.

For years, fisherman and local lawmakers have been seeking a fix that would make the inlet deep enough for all boat traffic. The Army Corps of Engineers dredges twice a year, but those who use the channel regularly do not feel it is enough.

One of those people is Captain Chris Mizurak, who operates a vessel used for recreational fishing trips and dinner cruises. When asked if Mizurak was happy to see the dredge in Ocean City, he said it is a bittersweet sighting.

“Somewhat, but a little more needs to be done, they dredge that like they’re doing now and that’s good for maybe a week,” said Mizurak.

Throughout the day, the dredge, named The Murden, made its way back and forth from the inlet to Assateague Island National Seashore. While in the inlet, it focused on one of the areas fisherman say, especially at lowtide, is very difficult to pass through.

So difficult in fact, Sonny Gwin, a commercial fisherman and captain of The Skilagalee, said he has ran aground two or three times, and he said the situation, even with dredging, does not appear to be getting better.

“It’s getting worse and worse every year, the shoal is moving, it’s actually moving North,” said Gwin. “So when we come in it’s making it narrower and narrower, so when you’re coming in and got other boats coming out, sometimes it gets pretty hectic you better pay attention.”

Mizurak also has noticed a negative change in the past few years, particularly around a route near Assateague he used to take.

“It’s pretty shallow there, there’s spots where it’s one to two foot, normally we’d cut across but the last five or six years, can’t do any of that anymore,” said Mizurak.

The best way to fix the shoaling issues?

“I don’t know how to fix it, everybody asks me ‘well what’s your best idea’, and I say it’s way above my paygrade,” said Gwin. “All I know is I need to get from Point A to Point B and back.”

While it may be above Gwin’s paygrade, multiple lawmakers from both sides of the bay bridge came out last week to look at the issue first hand. Gwin is hopeful it will make life for himself and other easier.

“We have to fix this inlet, not only for the commercial industry, but for the pleasure boats, the recreational fishery,” said Gwin. “It’s getting bad enough where we’re going to wake up one day after a storm and not be able to get in or out.”

The same dredge, The Murden, is expected to be back out to Ocean City at some point in October, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.



It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe