Dredging of ‘critical shoals’ in N.J. Intracoastal Waterway to begin

(Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps)

(Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps)

The dredging of dangerous areas within New Jersey’s Intracoastal Waterway is set to begin, federal officials announced.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently awarded a maintenance dredging contract to Barnegat Bay Dredging Company of Harvey Cedars to dredge “critical shoals” along the Intracoastal Waterway over the course of a year, said Stephen Rochette, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman.

Shoals are commonly known as shallow areas that pose a hazard to navigation.

The contractor will start soon in the Cape May-Lewes Ferry area, according to Rochette, who said the sequence and location for dredging after the contractor finishes in the Cape May area is still not set.

“We are coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard on some of the areas with shoals that hinder the navigation of their equipment for marking the channel,” he said.

Last summer, the Coast Guard replaced damaged navigational pylons and replace them with seasonal buoys along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Rochette said the Army Corps has previously dredged the Intracoastal Waterway and used the dredged material on internal islands, including Mordecai Island, Ring Island, Great Flats near Stone Harbor, and near Avalon.

The federal dredging is in addition to a New Jersey-led program that has included a series of projects since 2014, clearing channels that were severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy.

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