POPLAR ISLAND, Md. --
POPLAR ISLAND, Md. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, is urging boaters to carry out safe boating practices in the Chesapeake Bay this National Safe Boating Week, as ongoing construction activities continue near Poplar Island.
“The public’s safety all year round, not just during National Safe Boating Week, continues to be our number one priority as we continue our efforts to inform the public of the construction area that extends north of Poplar Island,” said Justin Callahan, project manager for the Baltimore District’s Poplar Island project. “We’ve repositioned some of the existing buoys that outline the construction zone and installed additional buoys to continue to caution and alert boaters to the very high risk of their vessel hitting rocks if crossing into this zone.”
National Safe Boating Week, held May 18 - 24, is part of the Safe Boating Campaign, which is administered by the National Safe Boating Council and encourages safe boating practices throughout the year. Boaters around Poplar Island and throughout the Chesapeake Bay should practice safe boating measures such as wearing life jackets, following navigation rules and making sure the vessel operator has access to up-to-date navigation maps.
The construction zone around Poplar Island, which extends more than one mile north of the existing island, is marked by a total of 50 cautionary buoys. Twenty-one of these buoys are lighted with danger and written “keep out” signs, while the remainder are orange ball buoys. These buoys serve to warn boaters of the marked area to steer clear of during ongoing construction activities and submerged rocks that pose a hazard to navigation.
The attached map shows the current location of the buoys in place around the Poplar Island work 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 clean 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.
For more information on National Safe Boating week, including events, activities and boating tips, please visit www.safeboatingcampaign.com.
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