US Army Corps of Engineers
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Maintenance dredging of the upper reaches was completed in February 2020. The lower reaches of the Wicomico River were last dredged in 2017 and currently have a controlling depth of 11 feet. Dredging is scheduled to be completed in early 2022, and vegetation planting on the Deal Island WMA is scheduled to be completed in summer 2023.

The notification and review procedures for dredging in Federal navigation channels is found under Section 313 and 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1977 (33USC 1323 and 1344).

Wicomico River Project Public Meeting 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, in coordination with various local, state and federal agencies, hosted a virtual public meeting April 14 from 6 – 8 p.m. to provide information and solicit input on the upcoming Wicomico River maintenance dredging and placement site location at the Deal Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA). This meeting provided stakeholders and the public the opportunity to learn more about the placement site history, efforts to identify suitable new placement sites, and factors that led to the selection of the Deal Island Wildlife Management Area for this cycle.

Wicomico River project public meeting presentation slides  (click)

Wicomico River Maintenance Dredging Background

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, provides maintenance dredging for the Federal navigation channel on the Wicomico River in Wicomico County, Maryland. The Wicomico River project was authorized by the River and Harbor Act of September 19, 1890, and modified in 1910, 1919, 1930,1937 and 1954.

This project contributes to protecting environmental habitat, improving water quality and expanding public access within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The operations and maintenance project provides for a channel of 14 feet deep and 150 feet wide from the Chesapeake Bay to Salisbury, including 100-foot-wide channels with turning basins that are all 14 feet deep in the north and south prongs, and a 60-foot-wide channel 6 feet deep from deep water in the river to Webster Cove; a T-shaped basin in a cove that is 100 feet wide and 400 feet long, and an extension of a basin that is 200 feet long and 100 feet wide on each side. 

The total project length is 37 miles. The port of Salisbury has the second highest commercial port in Maryland, consisting primarily of petroleum products and grain. Safe barge passage is crucial to maintaining adequate fuel supplies for the Delmarva Peninsula.


FY 2021 Scheduled Work

USACE plans to award two contracts in fiscal 2021.

  1. The first contract is for construction of the features to prepare the Deal Island WMA placement site to receive dredged material inflow. This contract will also include vegetation planting.
  2. The second contract will be for maintenance dredging of approximately 130,000 cubic yards (cy) of material from the Wicomico River's lower reaches to ensure continued safe navigation along the federal channel.

The material, comprising of mostly silt and sand, will be beneficially placed at the Deal Island WMA, owned by Maryland Department of Natural Resources, to restore approximately 75 acres of wetlands showing heavy signs of degradation and fragmentation

View the Site Map (click)

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