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Posted on: February 24, 2021

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allocates more than $6.3 million for Lake Worth Inlet shoaling

Tropical Shipping, Peanut Island and inlet

The Port of Palm Beach recently learned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allocated just over $6.3 million for dredging of the nearby channel and the settling basins.

"In the last five to seven years, funding has been in the neighborhood of $2.5 and $3 million. So this is more than double that and it’s been at least that long since we’ve had enough funding to make an appreciable difference in the sand in the settling basin," said Port Engineer Ron Coddington.

 So how will this differ from dredging projects in the past? 

 “The great thing about it is instead of ending up with possibly an emergency dredging operation with a dredge here and then a subsequent operation with a dredge here, we are going to do it all at once,” Coddington said. 

 Coddington says by completely emptying the settling basins, the Corps of Engineers should be able to get to its goal of possibly dredging only every other year or at least one scheduled dredge without draft restrictions and emergency dredging, which causes disruption to Port tenants. 

 While dredging might not seem important, it plays a critical role in our economy. Having a clean and deep channel allows cargo vessels to transport to and from the Port with full loads. 

 "When we have draft restrictions, Tropical Shipping's Hope class ships, which during that time of year sail once every week, leave approximately a half million dollars worth of cargo on the docks in Halifax, Canada that they can't load because of draft restrictions. It is a half a million dollar worth of cargo that does not pass through our Port, doesn’t come into the local economy and isn’t available to the Bahamas and the Caribbean nations that we feed," Coddington said. 

 Photo Credit: SSI Petroleum 


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