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Request to fund channel dredging denied by state

Wye River in Queenstown.

Posted on September 19, 2022

The Queenstown Town Council was denied a federal funding request for FY 2023 for dredging the by the Senate Appropriations Commission.

The announcement was made public at the Queenstown Commissioners meeting on Aug. 9 after announcing receipt of a $100,000 grant that was awarded by the Department of Natural Resources for preliminary engineering to dredge the federal channel coming into Queenstown Creek from the Chester River.

Town Manager Amy Moore said the town requested an additional $200,000 of federal funding, but those funds were not approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee for FY23. She said that these funds would have been utilized for the engineering and design that would have allowed the Army Corps of Engineers to develop a plan for the future dredging of Queenstown Harbor and Creek.

Moore met with the DNR and Queen Anne’s County Parks & Recreation representatives to discuss a related project that will use dredged material — mostly sand — at the southern shoreline of Eastern Neck Island to help replenish beach areas around Eastern Neck and/or Queenstown properties who have experienced land erosion, as it is public property and more likely to receive state financing for any shoreline stonework.

Moore revealed there are property owners interested in possible shoreline restoration that would be completed using the dredged material, but if these private property owners want to help with stone costs, they would have to pay for most of the stone work.

Moore added that the DNR believes there may be a better chance of receiving the federal funding if the spoils from dredging go to public property, like Eastern Neck Island; however, it would be cheaper and still beneficial if the spoils go to local private owned properties adjacent to the dredge area, provided the property owners are interested and willing to cover a majority of the costs for their shoreline restoration, she noted.

With the $100,000 grant used to complete preliminary engineering, Moore said, and the full cost of the engineering yet to be funded, the study will be completed in phases as funding becomes available.

Moore and the Town plan to meet with these private property owners for preliminary discussions about the project.


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