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Managing dredge material review at Dare’s waterways commission

Members of the Dare County Waterways Commission reviewed a draft report on managing dredge material.

The comprehensive report was presented by the Ken Willson, senior program manager with Coastal Protection Engineering.

The report, which will be presented again in February, addresses Dare County’s need for dredge spoil sites for federal and non-federal channels when the under-construction public-private dredge begins work.

Project areas are:

– Manteo-Shallowbag Bay to Wanchese portion including Ranges 4A and 4B, Ranges 1-4, Range 5, Ranges 14A, 14B and 14C (Wanchese) Ranges 14-17, all of which are federally authorized.

– Old House Channel to Oregon Inlet and Wanchese to Oregon Inlet portion, including Walter Slough and The Crack, which are not federally authorized.

– Stumpy Point Channel, federally authorized.

– Rodanthe Channel portion, federal authorized.

– Rollinson Channel to Hatteras Inlet, Hatteras Connecting Channel and Hatteras of Hatteras Inlet Ranges 1-5, which are all federally authorized.

– Barney Slough, Sloop Channel and Hatteras Inlet Ocean Bar, all of which are not federally authorized.

– South Ferry Channel.

The report will contain detailed descriptions of alternatives, details on volume, capacity and length of time the alternative will provide capacity.

Willson’s alternatives start with the north end of Roanoke Island at Fort Raleigh using dredge materials to enhance the eroding shoreline with 142,685 cubic yards of dredge material. Pumping dredge material on shorelines, called beach fill, can also be used along the oceanfront at the south end of Hatteras Island.

Thin layer placement is an alternative that could be used at Festival Park, Seafood Park, the causeway and northeast of Hatteras boat basin.

Thin layer placement involves pumping material over a marsh area. The material will restore the marsh over time and help keep up with sea level rise. Willson said this alternative is a once in a decade event.

At confined disposal sites, dredge material could be used to enhance Island H along the Shallowbag Bay corridor or Cora June Island outside Hatteras Harbor.

At Oregon Inlet, open water disposal in previously approved sites is suggested. Those sites are along Old House Channel 1 and Range 17. Also, open water disposal can be used to fill scour holes where the water is 20 feet deep.

Additional alternatives include making more bird islands adjacent to Old House Channel; restoring Green Island on the south soundside of Oregon Inlet bridge; and for Stumpy Point basin pumping sand to the spit or trucking sand to the county’s transfer station.

The special purpose dredge now under construction could be used for open water disposal in the Pamlico Sound and offshore Pea Island and Ocracoke Island.

The draft report was presented at the Jan. 20, 2021 meeting of the Dare County Waterways Commission. The virtual February meeting is set for Feb. 8, 2021 at 7 p.m. The Google meet link is meet.google.com/dio-kpob-gkq, or for dial in, call 1-406-530-5861 using PIN 973 032 357.

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