Photo: Google Earth

Two Bay Islands to be Rebuilt with Dredged Sediment

A pair of badly-eroded islands off of Maryland’s Eastern Shore will be restored using dredged materials from the Port of Baltimore.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland Port Administration announced an agreement for the final design of James Island and Barren Island, both just off of the shores of Dorchester County.

The Mid-Bay Island Project will move 90 to 95 million cubic yards of dredged material from the channels leading to the Port of Baltimore onto James Island, to restore 2,072 acres of island habitat. The majority will be wetlands. The project will also send dredged material from shallow-draft channels to the smaller Barren Island, to restore 72 acres of wetland habitat.

The planned design for a restored James Island, the larger of the two targets.

The process is similar to the restoration project at Poplar Island, which has used 34 million cubic yards of dredged sediment to date.

“The Corps of Engineers executes many missions and projects that benefit the Nation, including maintaining federal navigation channels and large-scale ecosystem restoration projects,” said Baltimore District Commander Col. John Litz. “We’re proud to partner with the Maryland Port Administration on this large-scale ecosystem restoration project that will have a significant beneficial impact on the Port of Baltimore and the economy.”

Work on Barren Island is expected to start in 2022, with James Island following two years later. To learn more about the Mid-Bay Island Project, click here.

-Meg Walburn Viviano