Army Corps of Engineers Moves Forward With Hooper's Island Dredg - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Army Corps of Engineers Moves Forward With Hooper's Island Dredging Study

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The Tar Bay Gaps is the area that requires the most work (Photo:WBOC) The Tar Bay Gaps is the area that requires the most work (Photo:WBOC)

FISHING CREEK, Md.-  Very few boats tie up at Tyler's Cove anymore.  What's the point, watermen ask, when you can barely make it out of the port?  The channel has become shallow over time to the point that many boats cannot leave for the Chesapeake Bay, at least not easily. Watermen have marked the channel themselves, and use their boats to clear silt out of the narrow trough.

"You have to go get this stuff and mark the channels until you get it blown out, but until then you are tearing a lot of stuff up, and the stuff ain't cheap," said Dwayne Paul, a watermen who has worked those waters for close to 40 years.

He says the channels are nowhere near the actual markers.

"It's way off from where it is supposed to be.  There are places where I'd say it's 100 yards off from where it is supposed to be," said Paul.

For years, the Army Corps of Engineers would dredge the channel, but that stopped in the early 2000s.  There was not enough freight traffic through there to meet their standards.  But there has been a change of heart according to Dorchester County Council Vice President Tom Bradshaw.

"We've had the colonel and some of his staff down here.  The watermen have taken him out on the boat.  He's seen what they are facing with the depths and the inability to get in and out only during high tide," said Bradshaw.

The Army Corps is now conducting a feasibility study, and the project is now in line, but the funding is not there yet.  Watermen say they are glad at the very least that the army corps is now taking an interest in the project, and thus their livelihood.

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