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Title: Final Environmental Assessment : Rhodes Point Navigation Improvement Project, Somerset County, Maryland
Authors: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Baltimore District.
Keywords: Chesapeake Bay (Md. And Va.)
Coastal engineering
Rhodes Point (Md.)
Environmental protection
Environmental management
Channels (Hydraulic engineering)
Publisher: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Baltimore District.
Abstract: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Baltimore District, has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) to evaluate and document the potential environmental effects associated with the proposed navigation channel improvements at Rhodes Point on Smith Island, Somerset County, Maryland. Smith Island is approximately 8 miles west of Crisfield, Maryland, in the Chesapeake Bay. Smith Island consists of several smaller islands separated by shallow tidal creeks or channels called guts. Smith Island is sparsely populated and has three small residential fishing communities. These are Rhodes Point, Ewell, and Tylerton, all located in Maryland and accessible only by boat; the small upland regions are used as residential portions of these three fishing towns. The existing federal navigation project consists of a channel 6 feet deep, 50 feet wide, and approximately 1 mile in length from the northern limit of the Rhodes Point to Tylerton channel through Sheep Pen Gut channel to the Chesapeake Bay (Figure 1-1). Local users say that after dredging, the Sheep Pen Gut channel shoals within a few months. Once this happens, the 22 commercial watermen who use the channel must travel south from Rhodes Point toward Tylerton, north through Tyler Ditch to Ewell, and then out to the Bay through the Big Thorofare jetties, adding 30 minutes each way and an additional 10 miles roundtrip distance to the watermen's fishing trip. In addition, the western shoreline of Smith Island south of the Sheep Pen Gut Channel is exposed to wind and waves approaching the island from the northwest through southwest. Consequently, the western shoreline of Smith Island has long experienced progressive flooding and erosion. The purpose of the project is to provide improvements to the federally maintained channel located in Sheep Pen Gut to improve and maintain navigable access. A secondary benefit of the project is the beneficial use of dredged material for the stabilization of the highly erodible shoreline along the western shore of Smith Island south of Sheep Pen Gut. Currently, the federal navigation channel is in constant need of dredging to maintain navigable access. The existing channel shoals quickly and the shoaled channel depths are unsuitable for the range of vessels that require access through the channels. Economic interests would benefit from navigation improvements to the channel because they would provide unimpeded navigation to commercial fishing vessels and to other general boating interests.
Description: Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact
Rights: Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited
Size: 424 pages / 44 MB
Types of Materials: PDF
Appears in Collections:Environmental Documents

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