The Working Waterfront

Testimony sought on impacts to fishing with Beals dredge project

May 14 public hearing set

Staff Writer
Posted 2015-05-05
Last Modified 2015-05-05

BEALS — The Maine Department of Marine Resources will hold a public hearing May 14 on a proposal to dredge Beals Harbor and Pig Island Gut Channel.

The public hearing, to take place 6 p.m. at the Beals Elementary School, will be conducted to receive testimony solely about the impact of the project on the fishing industry.

Approximately 100,000 cubic yards of silty clay material would be removed from an 18.5-acre subtidal area to a depth of 10 feet. In addition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposes a maintenance dredging project in Pig Island Gut for an 80-foot wide by 6-foot deep channel and anchorage, which would remove 9,000 cubic yards of subtidal material consisting mostly of silty sand material.

The proposed work will be performed by a private contractor, using a mechanical dredge and scow, under contract to the government. The dredge will remove the material from the bottom of the Beals Harbor and Pig Island Gut channel, place it in scows and tow them by tug to an open water disposal site located east of Mark Island in Chandler Bay.

The project is currently estimated to start in October and be completed by the end of March 2016. Dredging is to be performed in accordance with environmental windows in order to avoid impacts to natural resources.

By law, the DMR is required to provide the DEP with an assessment of the impact on the fishing industry. Comments can be sent through May 28 to Denis Nault, Department of Marine Resources, 21 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333. He can be reached at 422-2092 or by email at