Holiday Weekend Warning: Poplar Island Construction Zone Changes

4th of July weekend is one of the busiest for boat traffic, and engineers want to warn boaters to pay careful attention navigating near the Poplar Island construction area.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, says eight new cautionary buoys are being added this week, in addition to the 32 already in place, to mark the perimeter of the construction zone. Those buoys mark submerged rocks that could cause significant damage to boat bottoms.

“Public safety is always our number one priority and we’re continuing efforts to inform the public of the construction area that extends from Poplar Island and the cautionary buoys outlining it,” said Justin Callahan, project manager for the Baltimore District’s Poplar Island project.

The construction zone extends more than a mile north of the existing island.  More than half of the 40 buoys in place are lighted with “Danger” and “Keep Out” signs written on the buoy, while the other half are orange buoys.  

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

The Corps uses large rocks and sand to create dykes that outline the area where dredged materials will be dumped. The buoys mark the outline where these large rocks sit, and vessels that stay outside the zone will remain safe.

 For additional information, including examples of the cautionary buoys and maps, click here.

-Meg Walburn Viviano