POPLAR ISLAND, Md. --
POPLAR ISLAND, Md. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, urges boaters in the Chesapeake Bay to steer clear of the construction zone off of Poplar Island during the Fourth of July’s expected increase in boating activities.
“The public’s safety is always of utmost importance all year round, but with increased boat traffic expected this week, we want to remind the public of the danger of navigating into the construction area that extends north of Poplar Island,” said Tom Laczo, project manager for the Baltimore District’s Poplar Island project. “We’ve positioned cautionary buoys all around the construction zone to alert boaters to the very real risk they take of hitting submerged rocks if their vessel crosses into this zone.”
This construction zone extends more than one mile north of the island and is marked by a total of 60 cautionary buoys. Thirty-one of these buoys are lighted with danger and “keep out” signs, while the remainder are orange ball buoys.
While boaters may not be able to see the hazards within the construction area, submerged rock and construction equipment may be under the surface and could cause damage to vessels. These cautionary buoys that outline the construction area are designed to warn boaters they should not venture any further in order to keep away from these hazards.
The attached map shows the current location of the buoys 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, which is a partnership with the Maryland Port Administration, to create an additional 575 acres of remote island habitat using material dredged from the Maryland Chesapeake Bay approach channels to the Port of Baltimore.
Large rocks and sand are first placed to create dikes that 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 chart showing the 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, boaters should follow 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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