Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. Mobilizes for Little Egg Inlet Dredging Project

Dec 06, 2017
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. has been awarded the contract, for $18.4 million, to clear shoals from Little Egg Inlet, the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection announced on Tuesday. The sand dredged from the inlet will be used to replenish the southernmost beaches of Long Beach Island.

Following an extensive environmental review, conducted in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the DEP, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit on Nov. 6 to dredge the inlet, which is a major thoroughfare for boat traffic between southern LBI and Brigantine.

Long Beach Township officials stated that mobilization at the site began late last week.

According to the DEP, the contractor aims to complete the project by March 1, 2018, prior to the next boating season, and at a time of year that takes advantage of natural wave action to push additional sand onto the beaches.

As a DEP press release states, the contract “is designed to dredge 700,000 cubic yards of sand, with an option to dredge an additional 300,000 cubic yards if needed. The DEP is paying for the project using funds from its Shore Protection Program.”

Sand will be placed along beaches and dunes from Ocean Street in Beach Haven and south through Holgate, repairing areas that sustained erosion as the result of storms since the Army Corps completed a beachfill project that encompassed much of LBI.

“The contractor will focus on the area from the terminal groin to Pershing Avenue in Holgate and the areas just south of Nelson Avenue to Kentford Avenue and just north of Holyoke Avenue to Belvoir Avenue in Beach Haven,” the release adds.

“This important project will provide additional protections to the southern LBI area by replenishing beaches and dunes that have lost sand due to erosion from storms since completion of a major U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beach fill project last year,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “At the same time, it will greatly improve boating safety in the heavily used Little Egg Inlet, which has become virtually impassable for most boating traffic due to shoaling."

The removal of sand from the inlet will clear a navigable boat channel one mile long and 24 feet below mean sea level “to accommodate the numerous commercial and recreational fishing vessels, private boats and other craft that use the inlet to access Barnegat Bay, Great Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway,” says the DEP.

Little Egg Inlet is one of the widest ocean inlets in the state, and is extremely dynamic. The federally marked waterway has never been dredged, until now.

The DEP says the project is designed to have negligible to no impact on the nearby Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, or migrations of fish.  —J.K.-H.

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