Dredging of Little River Will Have Big Impact on Little Creek - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dredging of Little River Will Have Big Impact on Little Creek

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DNREC is dredging two miles of the Little River DNREC is dredging two miles of the Little River

DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - The Little River in Kent County will soon be more accessible than it's been in a very long time.

DNREC is dredging the river and removing old piling. The process started a few weeks ago, and it's covering two miles of the river.

A contractor is pulling out 79,000 cubic yards of sediment. That's going to have a major impact on the useability of the waterway.

Jeremey Ashe, with DNREC's Division of Fish and Wildlife, says prior to the dredging the Little River could be very shallow at spots.

"A small boat, a little john boat, at low tide may be would be able to get in," he said.

Anything bigger would be a no-go. The last time the Little River was dredged was in the early 1980s. Sediment has built up since then.

The current dredging will allow larger boats access once again. The channel this dredging creates will be five feet deep at average low tide.

"We're hoping to boost the local economy by bringing more people out here to fish, bird watch, use the water," said Ashe. "Fishermen or crabbers who want to access the river, they'll be able to do so at any given tide. Also, there's a safety component to the project."

That safety component affects the Little Creek Fire Department's rescue boats. The department has three boats. Two of them are at the firehouse. One is not.

The department keeps its largest boat and launches its other boats out into the bay from site at the very end of Port Mahon Road. It's a good 10 minutes away from the actual firehouse itself.

Chief Michael Scott Bundek says along with a new boat ramp, the dredging will allow his smaller boats to access the Little River. The river is much closer to the firehouse than the current launch spot is.

"To be able to launch it within two or three minutes of the firehouse increases our speed to getting an emergency in the bay," the chief said. "When you're on a boat in the middle of the water, you don't have anywhere to go. So, minutes matter. Seconds matter in the circumstances."

The material pulled up will help restore a nearby wildlife area. The project cost $1 million and is expected to be complete by the start of October.

Click here to keep track of the project through the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

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