Baltimore’s Harbor is About to Get Deeper

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Baltimore_inner_harbor (1)With all of the news about sewage, we’re used to writing about things what flows into the harbor. But today, the Army Corps of Engineers is making news about material that’s coming out.

In January, the Corps is set to begin a dredging project that will take mud, silt, sand and shell (or “a mixture thereof”) out of the harbor. The crews from Illinois-based contractor Great Lakes Dredge and Dock will be working at shipping channels used by ships heading in and out of the Port of Baltimore. The idea is to make the harbor deeper to ensure the ships have enough space to maneuver.

Two dredges will remove about 2.63 million cubic yards will be removed from the four shipping channel lanes in all. About 550,000 cubic ft. of that material will go to an area south of the Key Bridge called the Cox Creek Dredged Material Containment Facility. Much of the rest will have a direct benefit nature. It will be reused at an ecosystem restoration project at Poplar Island on the east side of the Bay. After the island shrunk 1,100 acres to just five acres in the 1990s, dredged material has been shipped to a dike there that’s designed to keep the island from disappearing.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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