Posted on August 3, 2022
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced its dredging plans for commercial harbors in northern Ohio, including Sandusky and Huron.
The federal agency regularly carries out dredging to keep navigational channels open in northern Ohio ports on Lake Erie.
On Monday, the Buffalo office of the agency said it has received more than $20.9 million in federal funds to dredge seven of Ohio’s commercial harbors: Toledo, Sandusky, Lorain, Cleveland, Fairport, and Conneaut and Ashtabula, and dredging is scheduled for all but one harbor.
Conneaut Harbor does not currently have a placement site available that meets the state’s 2020 law limiting open lake placement,
The Sandusky plans call for harbor dredging to begin in September. Boating safety concerns pushed back the start date.
The agency said 140,000 cubic yards of dredged material need to be removed from Sandusky’s harbor. The dirt dredged from the lake bottom by the corps of engineers will be used for a new wetland the city is building on the west side of the Cedar Point Causeway.
The agency said dredging has been completed at Huron’s harbor. Dredging plans for Huron for 2023 have not been determined yet.
Looking ahead at other harbors in 2023, the agency said a schedule for dredging in the Sandusky harbor has not been set yet for next year. Plans will be affected by the amount of material from the dredging that can be absorbed at Sandusky’s new wetlands site.
Dredging at Port Clinton’s harbor is planned for next year, but the corps has not yet identified a place where the dredged materials can be placed.
Dredging is scheduled next year at the Vermilion harbor at a time that hasn’t been set yet. Dredging in the river channel will be limited to 10,000 cubic yards to comply with Ohio’s limits on open lake dumping, the Corps said.
In its new report, the agency said state limits on open lake dumping are slowing down its work on keeping northern Ohio’s ports open.
“Continued attention by the State of Ohio, local and federal leaders on alternative solutions will greatly assist maritime transportation to assure Ohio harbors continue to support the strength of the Great Lakes Navigation System,” the new report says.