POPLAR ISLAND, Md. --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District cautions the public about the construction zone at Poplar Island over the Labor Day weekend. Due to expected increase in boating activities the District urges boaters to stay clear from this area.
“The District holds the public’s safety as its highest priority and, with the holiday weekend likely increasing boating activities, it is imperative to continue our efforts to inform the public of the construction area that extends north of Poplar Island,” says Tom Laczo, project manager for the Baltimore District’s Poplar Island project. “For boaters’ safety and awareness, there are cautionary buoys around the construction zone to alert boaters of the dangers they face if their vessels cross into the zone and hit a submerged rock.”
This construction zone extends more than 1 mile north of the existing Poplar 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.
Although some hazards are not visible within the construction area, submerged rock and construction equipment could be under the surface and will cause severe damage to vessels if not careful. These cautionary buoys are designed to warn boaters to not venture further and to stay away from potential 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 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 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, 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.