Dredging the Lower Wicomico River Begins - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dredging the Lower Wicomico River Begins

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NANTICOKE, Md.- Dredging of the lower Wicomico River began off the shoreline of Ellis Bay.

The 3.6 million dollar project began in March.

Chris Gardner from the US Army Corps of Engineers said nearly 80 thousand cubic yards of dredged material will be removed from the lower Wicomico River to ensure safe navigation along this federal channel.

The Army Corps of Engineers are dredging right off the banks of Ellis Bank. They said that keeping this waterway clear is vital to not just the vessels that use it each week but also the economy of the Eastern Shore.

Gardner said they are restoring the part of the lower Wicomico River to it's authorized depth of 14 feet and a width of 75 feet.

President of Chesapeake Shipbuilding Anthony Servern said without proper maintenance of this waterway, the Eastern Shore would be in trouble.

"There's barges that bring in corn from across the bay. They need a deep channel; there's barges that bring in stone and rock for construction because there isn't any stone on the eastern shore even to make concrete with. it all has to come in, in barges. And then there's the ones that bring in oil and gasoline," Severn said.

Salisbury University Professor of Biology, Judith Stribling explained where they deposit the excess silt and sand after the dredging process is finished.

"They're taking some of that material and putting it on areas of tidal marsh down near the mouth of the river that have eroded so they're restoring the historical shoreline extent with this material," Stribling said.

Gardner said they should be done dredging within the next month or so. 

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