Atlantic Coast of Maryland Shoreline Protection Project

Published July 1, 2024
Expiration date: 7/31/2024


                                                                  Planning Division
                                                                                       Public Notice
                                                                     Comment Period: July 1, 2024 – July 31, 2024
RE: Atlantic Coast of Maryland Shoreline Protection Project

All Interested Parties:  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Baltimore District in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) and with the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), is proposing to dredge an offshore shoal in federal waters to obtain sand for the Atlantic Coast of Maryland Shoreline Protection Project (project) starting in September 2025. The project is located in the Town of Ocean City, Worcester County, Maryland. The project places sand on the beach of Ocean City, Maryland generally every four years, to reduce the risk of coastal storm damage. The last renourishment was completed in January 2021.

USACE – Baltimore District, MD DNR, and BOEM, acting as a cooperating agency, are preparing to dredge approximately 900,000 cubic yards of sand from the borrow area known as Weaver Shoal, located in federal waters offshore of Ocean City, Maryland. The project consists of an 8.3-mile elevated beach berm backed by a 1.4-mile concrete-capped steel sheet pile bulkhead and a 6.9-mile vegetated sand dune, with a 1,500-foot transition into Sussex County, Delaware, that ties the project into the Fenwick Island Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project, a federal project managed by USACE, Philadelphia District. Since 1990 the project has prevented an estimated $927M in damages to Ocean City, Maryland. This work will be accomplished by a construction contract issued and administered by the Baltimore District and is scheduled to occur between September 2, 2025, and May 24, 2026. A plan view showing project placement location and the Weaver Shoal borrow area is incorporated into this notice.

The proposed borrow area, known as Weaver Shoal, is located 7.2 miles offshore of Ocean City, Maryland in the BOEM Mid-Atlantic Planning Area. The shoal is approximately 3.8 square miles in area, with a length of 4.1 miles and a maximum width of 1.4 miles. Water depths range from 29 to 65 feet. The borrow area (designated as W-C) is 8,000 feet long by 2,000 feet wide and encompasses 367 acres, with water depths ranging from 31 to 49 feet. Adhering to established requirements to minimize long-term impacts to the shoal, sand will be hydraulically excavated from the specified borrow area by trailing suction hopper dredge, then transported to the project area and hydraulically pumped from the hopper dredge to the shoreline.

The scheduled periodic renourishment of the project will be constructed pursuant to all conditions outlined in State of Maryland Wetlands License No. 15-0988 (issued March 23, 2016 and expires March 23, 2026); Maryland Department of the Environment Water Quality Certification No. 15-WQC-0988 (issued March 23, 2016 and expires March 23, 2026); State of Delaware Subaqueous Lands Permit No. SP-432/18 (issued February 5, 2019 and expires February 5, 2029); and State of Delaware Water Quality Certification No. WQ-432/18 (issued February 5, 2019 and expires February 5, 2029). As the Maryland permits (Water Quality Certification and Tidal Wetlands License) expire prior to the end of the anticipated construction window, MD DNR is working to renew and extend these permits.

Best management practices (BMPs) prescribed by BOEM for borrow activities at the Weaver Shoal will be followed. The BMPs will be protective of the resources present at the Weaver Shoal and minimize any negative impacts to these resources.

The schedule for the periodic renourishment includes bid advertisement in April 2025, bid opening in May 2025, and contract award in July 2025. As currently scheduled, the selected contractor will commence work after Labor Day of 2025 and complete all work prior to Memorial Day weekend of 2026.

The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the start of this proposed action and to request any information that may affect the planning and design of the dredging and renourishment operation(s). We request information from interested stakeholders concerning the proposed dredging and renourishment and seek public input that may be pertinent to this project, within 30 days from the date of this notice to the point of contact listed below. A timely review of the enclosed information and a written response will be greatly appreciated.

If you have any questions regarding this proposed project or would like to provide comments, please contact Chris Johnson by e-mail at, Subject: Atlantic Coast of Maryland Shoreline Protection Project.