Additional Funding Approved for Ocean City Inlet Dredging - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Additional Funding Approved for Ocean City Inlet Dredging

Posted: Jun 19, 2018 11:57 AM Updated:
Ocean City Inlet during Tropical Storm Hermine (WBOC) Ocean City Inlet during Tropical Storm Hermine (WBOC)

OCEAN CITY, Md. - For commercial fishermen like Sonny Gwin, issues with navigating shallow waters in the Ocean City Inlet are nothing new. 

"It seems to be getting worse every year with the nor'easters," said Gwin.

They are deep-seated issues Gwin said can end up costing fishermen big dollars.

"Once it fills in, they come in and start hitting the bottom, and for a big boat, you can talk hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage," said Gwin.

The damage goes beyond the boats. Gwin said problems passing through the inlet also mean damage to his livelihood.

"Without getting to this dock, we can't get to the market," he said. "And you have to remember, these are Maryland quotas that need to be landed in Maryland."

Now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is throwing an extra lifeline in the form of additional funding approved by Congress to dredge the inlet over the next year or so.

The Corps already had $250,00 included in the 2018 fiscal year budget to fund maintenance dredging at the inlet. Now, that number has been tripled to $750,000.

"The short-term dredging has kept the inlet open. If it weren't for that, I don't believe a rowboat could get through here," said Gwin.

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is also working on a five-year study to find a long-term fix for shoaling issues at the inlet.

The next dredging in Ocean City Inlet is scheduled for later this summer.

A spokesman with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers said this is previously scheduled and not related to the aforementioned funding.

The above funding will be used to schedule future dredge visits as needed from this fall into 2019 based on the conditions of the channel and the availability of a shallow-draft dredging .

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