Ocean City is working with an outside engineering company to develop a sustainable dredging program to maintain lagoons and channels across the length of the island's bay side. Sign up for project update alerts by email.
Two mechanical dredging projects are underway for the 2019-20 off-season. Work can continue through March 31, 2020.
- Back Bay North: North Point Lagoon, Second Street Marina and Bayside Center
- Back Bay Central: Snug Harbor (including a "sediment trap" to help reduce refilling of materials), Glen Cove, Seventh Street end, and parts of Sunny Harbor, South Harbor (including Midway Harbor) and Bluefish Lagoon
As of early December 2019, work in the "Central" project areas of Bluefish Lagoon, South Harbor, Sunny Harbor and Glen Cove is complete, and the contractor is at Snug Harbor.
Private owners can arrange to have their slips dredged at their own expense by contacting any private contractor.
Town Hall Meeting (Oct. 19, 2019): Video
Updated Bathymetric Surveys (check depths as of June 2019)
For private contractors only:
Contractors completed the longest living shoreline project in New Jersey history in spring 2019. The wetlands restoration project enhanced Shooting Island on the bay side of Ocean City.
Charter Contracting of Boston, Mass. installed 2,700 linear feet of rock sill and 1,450 linear feet of oyster habitat along the northern and western edges of the island. The sill functions as protection for the Shooting Island wetlands and will absorb energy from the waves and currents. The oyster habitat blocks were spaced to promote the flow of tidal water between the marsh and bay.
These structures are marked with navigational aids but could provide hazards at high tide. See map above.
The first phase of Shooting Island restoration provided coastal resiliency and reduction of storm impacts to Ocean City’s bayfront. Shooting Island has seen significant degradation with the shoreline receding nearly 60 feet since 1978. More than 150 acres of tidal wetlands will be restored. The project also will provide new habitat for marine life, birds and other coastal species. Subsequent phases could use material from the bottom of adjacent shallow waterways to further restore the island. The work took advantage of a $2.2 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to experiment with ways to “create and stabilize wetlands”
The groundbreaking permit was issued to Ocean City in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, N.J Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Department of Interior, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and National Marine Fisheries Service. The project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.
See video here of the completed Shooting Island Phase I project in Ocean City.
Mayor Jay Gillian received word from the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) that the season for dredging activity in the bay was extended from February 28 to March 31. The extension provided Ocean City residents an additional month to arrange for dredging their private slips. The extension of in-water dredging activity was a result of current data provided to NJDEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife showing protected fish migration begins closer to April 1 than previously believed. The extension gave residents an additional four weeks for slip dredging and alleviates concerns about insufficient time to complete work prior to the cutoff date.
The program has dredged 95,000 cubic yards from city waters and 54,000 cubic yards from state channels over the past three years. Slip owners have taken advantage of the opportunity to remove close to 41,000 cubic yards through private dredging efforts.
All areas within the city’s mechanical and hydraulic dredging annual program (including Clubhouse Lagoon, Blue Fish Lagoon, Carnival Bayou, Venetian Bayou, Waterview, Snug Harbor, the Bay Bridge area near Ninth Street, parts of Sunny Harbor, South Harbor and an area on the bayfront near Third Street) have been completed to a minimum of -4’ MLW.
Updated Bathymetric Surveys (check depths as of spring 2018)
Video from April 28, 2018 Town Hall on 2018-19 Dredging Program
Mobile Dredging and Video Pipe, Inc. completed work to hydraulically dredge Carnival Bayou (between W. 16th Street and W. 17th Street) and removed 17,430 cubic yards of material. Dredging work began on Oct. 16, 2017 and was completed by early December. Initial bathymetric surveys indicate depth requirements were met or exceeded. Trident Marine Piling was hired to remove material from a “buffer zone” that rimmed the lagoon (as part of the project’s expense). The state Department of Transportation contributed about $1.2 million of the public project's estimated $1.6 million cost.
Trident Marine also was awarded a $1 million contract for mechanical dredging of Sunny Harbor and South Harbor, and work is complete. Trident Marine also contracted with owners to remove material from private slips.
BACKGROUND: A neighborhood meeting was held at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 19, at the Ocean City Tabernacle (550 Wesley Avenue) to detail the process for residents to conduct private boat slip dredging in Carnival Bayou, Sunny Harbor and South Harbor this fall and winter. If you were unable to attend the meeting, check video:
Owners can check current depths of their slips on these updated bathymetric surveys:
With a citywide permit application pending and with news that the dredging season has been extended by three to five months (see news release), Ocean City looks forward to a substantial 2018 dredging program starting July 1. Private slip owners, boaters and recreational users of the bay can look forward to a spring meeting on next year's program.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers permit is important to all residents of Ocean City, because it will allow every property owner on the bayfront and lagoons to be covered under the city permit.
Representatives of ACT Engineers made a presentation June 3, 2017 on Ocean City's 2017 bay dredging program and on various efforts to create a sustainable long-term plan to keep bayside channels and lagoons navigable. . Dredging this year will take place at Carnival Bayou (between 16th Street and 17th Street), Sunny Harbor (between Walnut and Arkansas) and South Harbor (between Tennessee and Spruce).
Dredging work at Snug Harbor, Glen Cove and South Harbor was completed by the end of October 2016. A temporary haul road to a confined disposal facility off Roosevelt Boulevard is complete and trucks removed material to make room for new projects.
SITE 83: Construction of a temporary road from Roosevelt Boulevard to a disposal site in the marshes began on May 16 (2016) and was completed in September 2016. Hauling began in late November 2016 and was completed in mid-2017. The project cleared material to make room for new projects that will be prioritized based on need (shallowest areas first).
SNUG HARBOR, GLEN COVE and SOUTH HARBOR: Work began in early September to dredge in Snug Harbor (between 8th Street and Revere Place), Glen Cove (between 10th Street and Walton Place) and the mouth of South Harbor (between Spruce Road and Tennessee Avenue). SEE MAPS OF THE AREAS THAT WERE DREDGED. Trident Piling was the contractor. Owners (at their own expense) were able to contract with Trident to dredge their private slips. The contractor used an excavator and barges to haul the material to a small CDF (confined disposal facility) underneath the Ninth Street Bridge, where it was hauled away by truck.
NOR'EASTER MARINA COMMUNITY: ACT Engineers is seeking permits (state Department of Environmental Protection and federal Army Corps of Engineers) on behalf of the city for the length of Ocean City's bay side. An existing mix of permits in Ocean City under various private and public jurisdictions includes many that are currently expired. The city hopes to have a uniform and universal permit in place by the end of 2017. Then projects at bayfront communities like the Nor'easter can be dredged (with owners paying for work at their own private slips).
Ocean City remains committed to dredging all parts of the bay side, but the city has essentially no place to deposit dredged material. Environmental regulations create substantial obstacles to new dredging projects. The city has hired ACT Engineers to develop a comprehensive dredging plan. The city also has contracted the services of a lobbyist, Tonio Burgos and Associates, in hopes of finding a cost-effective dredging solution that could save taxpayers millions. New surveys indicate as much as 900,000 cubic yards of material must be removed to restore all of Ocean City's bays and lagoons to a depth of five to six feet. The city's five-year capital plan dedicates $20 million to dredging.
EXISTING DISPOSAL SITES
Site 83 has a capacity of 250,000 to 300,000 cubic yards. It was full. Wickberg Marine Contracting had a $2.7 million contract to remove 50,000 cubic yards (by barge and truck) starting in 2015. Wickberg had removed about 42,000 cubic yards when the Army Corps of Engineers sent a “cease and desist order” in January. The order noted violations related to unauthorized manipulation of the areas where the barges and trucks traveled to transport the dredged material. The city and Wickberg worked with regulators on a restoration plan for the affected areas.
In December 2015, City Council awarded a $849,227 contract to Command Co Inc of Egg Harbor City to build a temporary road from Roosevelt Boulevard to Site 83. The new road allows for a more cost-effective process to clear material from Site 83. It is currently being trucked to various disposal sites.
A new disposal facility under the new Ninth Street Bridge on the Route 52 causeway allows for a small landing area (up to 8,000 cubic yards), where trucks can haul material away.
NEW DISPOSAL SITES
ACT Engineers is developing a wetlands restoration plan that would take advantage of a $2.6 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to experiment with a new technique to “create and stabilize wetlands” -- essentially to spray dredged material over a wide area of marsh.
MORE PAST DREDGING PROJECTS
- Snug Harbor: Wickberg Marine had a $937,900 contract in 2015 to dredge 14,000 cubic yards of sediment from Snug Harbor to a depth of six feet. The contractor completed only two-thirds of the job, and the work window ended before private owners could (at their own expense) dredge their slips. A project to return to Snug Harbor in 2016 and dredge nearby Glen Cove (between 10th and 11th streets) and the bayfront in between is planned.
15th Street to 34th Street: Hydro-Marine Construction Company of Hainesport, NJ, had a $1.8 million contract in 2012 to dredge the lagoons between 15th and 34th streets. The contractor did not complete work on the contract by the end of a permitting window on Dec. 31, 2012, and was scheduled to resume work to complete the job on July 1, 2013, but never returned. The dredging company did not finish work at Carnival Bayou Lagoon (between 16th and 17th streets) or at parts of Venetian Bayou Lagoon (between 17th and 18th streets) and Clubhouse Lagoon (between Waterway Road and Clubhouse Drive). Hydro-Marine Construction removed 73,000 cubic yards of dredged material under a contract that called for the dredging of 106,000 cubic yards. Work stopped because Site 83 was filled to capacity.
BATHYMETRIC SURVEYS OF DEPTH FOR OCEAN CITY LAGOONS (AS OF JAN. 2016)
2017 Dredging Program Town Hall Meeting (Dec. 10, 2016): Public Meeting Presentation.
(Representatives of ACT Engineers and city team members made a presentation about a proposed plan to use the Shelter Road Recycling Center as a short-term transfer point for dredged material. The concept could help salvage a dredging program for 2017.)
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 1
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 2
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 3
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 4
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 5
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 6
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 7
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 8
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 9
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 10
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 11
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 12
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 13
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 14
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 15
- Dredging Meeting (12-10-16) Video: Part 16
- Town Hall Meeting Presentation - May 21, 2016
- Town Hall Meeting Video Part 1 - May 21, 2016
- Town Hall Meeting Video Part 2 - May 21, 2016
- Town Hall Meeting Video Part 3 - May 21, 2016
- Town Hall Meeting Video Part 4 - May 21, 2016
- Town Hall Meeting Video Part 5 - May 21, 2016
- Town Hall Meeting Video Part 6 - May 21, 2016
- Town Hall Meeting Video Part 7 - May 21, 2016
- Town Hall Meeting Video Part 8 - May 21, 2016
- Town Hall Meeting Video Part 9 - May 21, 2016
- Town Hall Meeting Video Part 10 - May 21, 2016
- Town Hall Meeting Video Part 11 - May 21, 2016
- Town Hall Meeting Video Part 12 - May 21, 2016
- Town Hall Meeting Video Part 13 - May 21, 2016
- Town Hall Meeting Video Part 14 - May 21, 2016
- Dredging Town Hall Meeting Presentation - Jan. 25, 2016
- Dredging Town Hall Meeting Video - Jan. 25, 2016 (Part 1)
- Dredging Town Hall Meeting Video - Jan. 25, 2016 (Part 2)
- Dredging Town Hall Meeting Video - Jan. 25, 2016 (Part 3)
- Dredging Town Hall Meeting Video - Jan. 25, 2016 (Part 4)
- Dredging Town Hall Meeting Video - Jan. 25, 2016 (Part 5)
- Dredging Town Hall Meeting Video - Jan. 25, 2016 (Part 6)
- Dredging Town Hall Meeting Video - Jan. 25, 2016 (Part 7)
- Dredging Town Hall Meeting Video - Jan. 25, 2016 (Part 8)
- Dredging Town Hall Meeting Video - Jan. 25, 2016 (Part 9)
- Dredging Town Hall Meeting Video - Jan. 25, 2016 (Part 10)
- Dredging Town Hall Meeting Video - Jan. 25, 2016 (Part 11)