POPLAR ISLAND, Maryland – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, is urging boaters in the Chesapeake Bay to steer clear of ongoing construction activities and submerged rocks marked by cautionary buoys near Poplar Island during the fourth of July weekend’s expected increase in boating activities.
“Public safety is always our number one priority and we’re continuing efforts to inform the public of the construction area that extends from Poplar Island and the cautionary buoys outlining it,” said Justin Callahan, project manager for the Baltimore District’s Poplar Island project. “We’ve installed additional buoys to continue to caution and alert boaters to the very high risk of their vessel hitting rocks if crossing into the construction zone.”
The Corps will add an additional eight cautionary buoys to the already approximately 32 cautionary buoys outlining the perimeter of the construction zone by July 3. A total of approximately 40 cautionary buoys will surround the construction zone, which extends more than a mile north of the existing island. More than half of these buoys are lighted with danger and “keep out” signs written on the buoy, while the other half are orange buoys.
An attached updated map shows the location of the buoys in place as will be seen beginning July 3 around the Poplar Island construction zone. Boaters looking for additional information, including examples of the cautionary buoys and maps, should visit the Poplar Island Construction Zone webpage: http://www.nab.usace.army.mil/poplar-island-work-zone/
This construction is part of Baltimore District’s Poplar Island expansion project to create an additional 575 acres using clean material dredged from the Maryland Chesapeake Bay approach channels to the Port of Baltimore.
Large rocks and sand are first placed to create dykes to outline the expansion cells, allowing dredge material to later be placed within the cell. These large, submerged rocks are currently being placed within the area outlined by the cautionary buoys and will only pose a hazard to vessels that venture inside this zone. The NOAA nautical charts showing the construction area can be found at http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/12270.shtml.
Please note that for the most up to date Mid-Atlantic navigational information, hazards and construction warnings, such as the Poplar Island project, boaters should stay up to date with the U.S. Coast Guard’s local notices to mariners by visiting https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lnmDistrict®ion=5.
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Release no. 18-041