West O.C. Harbor Suffers From Rapid Shoaling, Erosion - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

West O.C. Harbor Suffers From Rapid Shoaling, Erosion

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WEST OCEAN CITY, Md.- Commercial vessels hauling fish off the coast of West Ocean City are having a hard time the catch to shore. Watermen said they have to navigate through the inlet without getting stuck on a sand bar.

"We just didn't have enough room, and I got stuck in shallow water," said Martin. "My boat was turned sideways because the tide was running so hard and rolled me down on my side."

Martin said he had to wiggle his way out. He described it as, "very hard and scary."

To keep that from happening again, the Army Corps of Engineers is dredging the area, and they found the situation worse than what some watermen thought. There's shoaling, shoreline erosion and a scour hole near the Harbor Lights condos north of the commercial harbor.

"There are a couple of larger boats that will love to come here but they're not coming," said Martin.

In fact just last month, we're told two large commercial vessels went to a different harbor, taking 30,000 dollars worth of revenue elsewhere.

County commissioner Bud Church has stepped in.

"It's a major concern, which is part of the study to find out why is it shoaling quickly, why is the scouring going on and why is the sand filling it," said Church.

Church said it will cost millions of dollars to solve the problems.

"We made it very clear in the beginning that we did not have money to fund that project," said Church.

Church believes money from the federal government could clear the way for watermen, like John Martin, in West Ocean City.

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