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APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Operation & Maintenance, General


LOCATION:  The project is located at Bowers Beach, Sussex County, DE

DESCRIPTION: The existing project was authorized in 1892 (HD 21, 52nd Cong, 1st Session) and modified in 1912 (HD 62-1058) and 1930 (SD 71-106). The project provides for a channel 7 feet deep at mean low water, 60 feet wide in Delaware Bay to mouth, and then 60 feet wide to Frederica, 7.5 miles above mouth. Total length of section included in project is about 8.5 miles.

PURPOSE: Approximately ten commercial fishing and crabbing vessels are based at Murderkill River.  During peak seasons, there are additional commercial vessels operating out of the inlet, peaking at more than 100.  A large number of tourists are attracted to the charter fishing opportunities. Deteriorating shoaling conditions would negatively impact the use of this project as a safe harbor in the event of dangerous weather conditions.  The U.S. Coast Guard, which operates an auxiliary station at Murderkill River, would be unable to respond to emergency situations at lower tide stages due to draft restrictions. Failure to perform continued maintenance would result in damage to commercial vessels, and severely impact the economy of the local communities, since a majority of the local residents have occupations which are waterway-related (commercial/charter fisherman).

PROJECT GOALS:  The purpose of this project provides for a channel in Delaware Bay, and Frederica.