NN16-03 (Maintenance Dredging, Twitch Cove and Big Thorofare at Smith Isalnd) - Somerset Co.

Published May 27, 2016
 Operations Division                                                                                



SUBJECT: Maintenance Dredging, Twitch Cove and Big Thorofare at Smith Island, Somerset County, Maryland






NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District (Corps), is planning to perform maintenance dredging for the Federal navigation channel on Smith Island, Somerset County, Maryland.  Please be advised that implementation of this maintenance dredging is dependent on available funds.  The Corps’ notification and review procedures for dredging in Federal navigation channels is found under Sections 313 and 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1977 (33 USC 1323 and 1344).


The proposed work consists of dredging the Twitch Cove and Big Thorofare channels at Smith Island to their authorized depth of 7 feet (MLLW), plus two feet of allowable overdepth, and a width of 60 feet.  The Corps plans to hydraulically dredge approximately 80,000 cubic yards of material consisting of mud, sand, silt, and shell and combinations thereof (Map 1).  The majority of the dredged material will be beneficially used to restore dune and wetland habitat on Swan Island, which is part of the Martin National Wildlife Refuge at Smith Island (Map 2).  The material on Swan Island will be contained and planted for stabilization.  A portion of the dredged material will also be used to reinforce the south jetty (located 0.85 miles west of Ewell) where it ties into land and restore the adjacent shoreline (Map 2).   


A review of data generated for preparation of the Environmental Assessment, including a preliminary 404(b)(1) evaluation, indicates that no significant environmental impacts are expected.  Therefore, preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement is not warranted.  National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation addressing the environmental issues of the placement site construction is being prepared.  The proposed placement site construction complies with and will be conducted in a manner consistent with the approved Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program.  The project will comply with the Endangered Species Act, and provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management act, as amended, and will not have any adverse effect on endangered species or essential fish habitat for federally managed species


The Corps will coordinate the project with the following Federal, State and local agencies:  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Service; Maryland Department of the Environment; Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and Maryland Historical Trust; and Somerset County, Maryland.


The decision whether to accomplish the work proposed in this public notice will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact of the proposed work on the public interest.  The decision will reflect the national concern for the protection and utilization of important resources.  The benefits expected to accrue from the proposal, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.  All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered; for example conservation, aesthetics, fish and wildlife values, environmental concerns, economics, historic values, navigation, energy needs, recreation, safety, water quality, food production, and public welfare.  The work will not be accomplished unless it is found to be in the public’s interest.


Designation of the proposed placement site for dredged material associated with this Federal project shall be made through the application of guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, in conjunction with the Secretary of the Army.  If these guidelines alone prohibit the designation of the proposed placement site, any potential impairment to navigation, including economic impact, which would result from the failure to use the placement site, will also be considered.


Any person who has an interest that may be affected by the placement of this dredged material may request a public hearing.  The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer, US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, 10 S. Howard Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, within 30 days of the date of this notice and must clearly set forth the interest that may be affected and the manner in which the interest may be affected by this activity.  The Corps will complete environmental documentation for this project, which will be available upon request. 


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, has applied for Water Quality Certification from the State of Maryland, which is required by Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.  Any comments relating to water quality concerns should also be forwarded to the Maryland Department of the Environment, Standards and Certification, Montgomery Park Business Center, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 430, Baltimore, Maryland 21230 within 30 days of the date of this notice. 







Since we are not aware of all persons interested in the project, we request that you provide this information to anyone whom has interest. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Catherine Perkins at (410) 962-4283 or Catherine.j.Perkins@usace.army.mil.





                        Dianne B. Edwardson

                        Chief, Operations Division