Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Restoration of James, Barren Island Going Forward

 Slowly. Talk of Delmarva, Restoration of Two Chesapeake Bay Islands Moves Forward

A Mid-Chesapeake Bay ecosystem restoration project will move forward, with the signing of a project partnership agreement.

The US Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland Department of Transportation have outlined their roles, responsibilities and financial obligations regarding restoration of James Island and Barren Island in Dorchester County.

Material dredged from the Port of Baltimore approach channels and the Honga River will be put to use.

That's the first I've heard that they were going to use Honga River sediment. Is that because they have areas in the Honga that need dredging for navigation, is it used to dilute the pollution in the sediments from Baltimore Harbor, or simply because it's close? 

“It’s an honor to sign this agreement signifying ‘all systems go’ for this critically important project that will provide so many environmental benefits for Maryland,” Maryland Transportation Secretary James Ports Jr. said. “Rebuilding James and Barren islands will promote wildlife, restore coastal shorelines, and provide us with a long-term placement site for dredged material from port shipping channels, allowing us to accommodate larger ships bringing more cargo and business to Maryland.”

According to the USACE, the Mid-Bay project includes restoration of 2,072 acres of lost remote island habitat on James Island and 72 acres of remote island habitat on Barren Island. Habitat may include “submerged aquatic vegetation, mudflat, low marsh, high marsh, islands, ponds, channels, and upland areas.”

“With this project, we hope to build upon the success of Poplar Island,” USACE Baltimore District Commander Col. Estee Pinchasin said. “The habitat we restored and created using dredged material is flourishing. We are proud to partner again with the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Port Administration and employ innovative solutions that benefit the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem today and will do so for generations to come.”

At the link, they show the current (well, a couple years ago) island, and the proposed restoration. For James Island:

Wow! That's pretty big, and 28-30 years to complete! Next, Barren Island:

A much smaller plan. I may even see this one completed.

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