Posted on October 25, 2023
There is hope among county officials the Army Corps of Engineers could add a third dredge to their lineup. It would be dedicated to the Mid-Atlantic and used from Virginia up to Delaware.
The feeling is at this point, it’s the best long-term option and would enable areas like the inlet to get more attention, which local leaders feel is very much needed.
The Army Corps has two dredges, which are responsible for covering all of the East Coast. It can make it difficult to get the inlet dredged as often and for as long as many on Maryland’s Eastern Shore would like.
“We have to compete with their maintenance schedules when they go into dry dock, we have to compete with the Gulf Coast if they have storms or hurricanes,” said Bob Mitchell, Director of Environmental Programs for Worcester County.
Mitchell said the best way to get over the scheduling hump is adding another dredge.
“The only way you’re going to get that is to try and change the equation, and a third dredge changes the equation, drastically,” said Mitchell.
To make that happen, the Army Corps needs congressional approval. Which is why Worcester County Commissioners are planning on sending a letter of support to Senators Van Hollen and Cardin, as well as Representative Andy Harris.
County Commissioner Eric Fiori said after a permanent solution was deemed to expensive by the Army Corps back in May of this year, options are not just running out.
“This is the only option at this point, allowing these inlets to close up just simply is not an option,” said Fiori.
Commissioners are expected to send out their letter of support this week.