|Army Corps vehicle that goes between land
and water works in Ocean City as part of study on
scour hole near Homer Gudelsky Park.
Baltimore District has two efforts underway looking at Ocean City Inlet, including one focused on the growing scour hole near Homer Gudelsky Park and another assessing potential navigation improvements as a result of shoaling. While each effort has a specific focus, the data being gathered and analyzed will be shared between the two efforts in order to increase efficiency, reduce costs and expedite the delivery of solutions for the community.
Scour Hole: Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Study - Baltimore District is assessing a large scour hole that has formed northwest of the inlet near Homer Gudelsky Park. The scour hole is estimated to be at least 50 feet deep in parts and growing, causing shoreline instability and foundation issues and compromising the rip rap along the shoreline. It also has the potential to endanger coastal communities. The goal of the study is to identify the cause of the scour hole and to recommend a path forward to address the scour hole. Data gathered for this study regarding sediment transport is also expected to benefit long-term efforts to address navigation issues associated with Ocean City Inlet. For this effort, we are working closely with the Army Corps Engineer Research and Development Center. The study is 100 percent federally funded.
STATUS – The study formally began in 2017 with data collection. Works includes collecting sediment samples, deploying instrument suites, and mapping the region to obtain information about the movement of sediment in and around the scour hole. In 2020, the team will use the collected data to begin modeling potential alternatives to address the scour hole. Public review of a draft report is anticipated in spring 2021. The study document will be approved in 2021.
Ocean City Harbor and Inlet Navigation Improvement Project - This project entails the analysis of potential navigation improvements to help address issues mariners regularly encounter when traversing the federal channel. The inlet suffers from chronic shoaling, despite maintenance dredging, particularly in certain hotspots that have caused problems for commercial fishermen and recreational vessels that rely on the channel. The Corps will evaluate sediment transport in the inlet and recommend options for managing the shoaling to include structural solutions like jetties or channel modifications like deepening the channel in the inlet. This project is 90 percent federally funded.
STATUS – Baltimore District signed a project partnership agreement Feb. 14, 2019, with Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Worcester County for this project. The plan is to make a recommendation by fall 2020; complete the environmental assessment and design by spring 2021; and start construction in fall 2021.