Hurricane remnants lead to ICW Dredging
At the end of this year, our thoughts are still with those in the Southeast who were so badly affected by Hurricane Florence which came through the Carolinas in September. Much hard work has been put into rebuilding homes in North and South Carolina, and seasonal cruisers heading south this fall have dealt with Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) restrictions, shoaling and favorite ports of call closed due to the storm. The iconic “boater’s Route 66,” commonly called the ICW (aka “the Ditch”), where mud shoals and sandbars build up in channels as maintenance dollars for dredging ebb and flow.
A lot of effort has been put into opening the ICW dredging through the affected states, and there is good news aside from applauding the effort expended in clearing the waterways: increased ICW dredging. According to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association (AIWA) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has had $25 million in supplemental disaster funds added to their budget.
The money has been allocated for restoration of sections of the ICW damaged by the past year’s hurricanes as well as dredging that was previously planned. As reported in an NMMA statement, the USACE Wilmington, North Carolina District will use the funds to improve conditions at the southern end in North Carolina. The USACE Charleston District will focus on the stretch of the ICW dredging between Charleston and Georgetown, South Carolina.
The Jekyll Creek area of Georgia will also receive attention in areas where depths are below the controlled minimum. Ongoing dredging under the USACE Jacksonville District will continue into early 2019 for portions of the ICW near the Ponce de Leon Inlet in Volusia County, FL.
By Bob Arrington, Southern Boating December 2018