Warning: Avoid Submerged Rocks near Poplar Island!

The Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District are warning boaters to steer clear of a construction area near Poplar Island in the Bay.

Crews working on Poplar Island have witnessed several recreational boats cross into the work zone and hit rock jetty material, according to the Coast Guard.

Yellow flashing buoys will be placed about 1,500 feet off the coast of the north end of Poplar Island this month, to help navigate vessels away from the current construction zone.

“Although no injuries have been reported thus far, there is a possibility of severe injury or death if the cautionary buoys are ignored,” said Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Runt, the aids to navigation officer at Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region.

This construction is part of Baltimore District’s Poplar Island expansion project to create an additional 575 acres of tidal wetland habitat using clean material dredged from the Maryland Chesapeake Bay approach channels to the Port of Baltimore.

Poplar Island, Maryland DNR

Poplar Island, Maryland DNR

Large rocks and sand are placed to create dykes to outline the expansion cells, allowing dredge material to later be placed within the cell. These submerged rocks are currently being placed within the area marked by the cautionary buoys and will only pose a hazard to vessels that go inside this zone.

Mid-Atlantic navigational information, hazards and construction warnings, such as the Poplar Island project, can be found in the local notice to mariners by visiting https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lnmDistrict&region=5.

Megan Viviano