Saturday, October 3, 2009

The scoop on the beach project

This is all in my story in the Current, but I'll repeat it here anyway.

The sand for the beach nourishment project is coming from the dredging project.

The dredging project is partially funded with stimulus funds ($1 mil).

ARRA deadlines require "shovel in the ground" by Feb. 17, the one-year anniversary of the signing of the bill.

If the dredging is not done this winter/spring, the Army Corps will likely lose the stimulus funds for this project (I believe they could divert the funds to another project that will be ready by the deadline).

Plus, the other portion of the money was an earmark on a federal bill, which I assume also has a deadline for use, but which is probably not as imminent.

So basically if they lose the $1 mil, the money would have to be replaced out of the next federal budget.

As Mark Habel of the Army Corps said at the last meeting, the have plans in place for three contingencies: 2 beaches, one beach, no beach.

Since apparently all the people in Salisbury signed the easements, Salisbury will still get its share of the sand, no matter what.

I have heard from multiple sources, including Habel at last week's meeting, that boats - including Coast Guard vessels - are scraping bottom in the mouth of the river, under certain tidal conditions.

What do you think will happen, given all these circumstances?


Anonymous said...

This is pretty much a no-brainer; that channel's getting dredged come hell or high water, with the communities that are fully onboard with the easements receiving the sand, with the rest being told to pound sand.

And the communities that do NOT receive the sand this time around are gonna have to wait for a long, long time before this opportunity arises again (at least until the next dredging). The Army Corps has a long memory and aren't an organization that enjoys being toyed with in this manner. I imagine the Corps response to homes tumbling into the surf would not be very sympathetic.

Furthermore, the big secret right now is that the feds are having problems giving money away under ARRA. It's now or never on this one, a perfect storm if you will.

As far as the channel: yes, it's shallowed out considerably. At one point myself and our mutual Pakistani friend were heading out at low tide and were shocked to see breaking waves in the middle of the channel near the end of the jettys, a sign that the bottom is close to the surface. The only proper reaction to that was 'Yikes!'.

- The Carrot

Gillian Swart said...

I also heard that there's a part by the (north?) jetty that's 53' deep. Near where that small boat hit the jetty earlier in the summer. The person who was telling me this said that going through the channel recently on his boat, there was 4' of water between the boat and the bottom. I guess the good news is - had he got stuck, he could have walked to shore (if he wasn't swept out to sea by the current first).

Anonymous said...

53 feet deep?

Gillian Swart said...

That's what I remember him saying, yes.

Anonymous said...

There's no way the channel is 53' deep in one spot; any area that deep would have been filled in by the sediment long before the rest of the channel started to shoal.

Even fully dredged it's not going to be 53' deep.

- The Carrot