Notice of Public Comment Regarding Fishing Industry Impacts of Proposed Blue Hill Harbor Dredge and CAD Cell Construction

Pursuant to 38 M.R.S. 480-D, sub-9, the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) is required to provide the Maine Department of Environmental Protection with an assessment of the impacts on the fishing industry of a proposed dredging operation. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) and the Town of Blue Hill have submitted a Navigation Improvement Project for the creation of a federal navigation channel and a Confined Aquatic Disposal (CAD) cell in Blue Hill Harbor.

The ACOE proposes the construction of an 80-foot wide channel from deep water to the town landing including a half acre turning basin. The proposed project would dredge a 2,500 foot long Federal Channel and a 38,000 square foot turning basin near the town landing. Both the turning basin and the new channel would be dredged to depth of -6 feet at MLLW. The dredging of the channel will excavate approximately 71,500 cubic yards of sediment. Most of this material, 61,000 cubic yards, will be disposed offshore at the Eastern Passage Disposal Site (EPDS), 14 miles from the harbor. Approximately 10,500 cubic yards of the dredged material is unsuitable for open water disposal and will be placed in a newly constructed CAD cell in the harbor immediately adjacent and north of the channel. The CAD cell construction will excavate approximately 15,500 cubic yards of sediment which will also be disposed of at the EPDS. All dredging will be by mechanical dredge and scow. Construction will occur between November 1 and April 1 and is expected to take three to four months to complete. The total dredge estimate is 87,000 cubic yards from approximately 31 acres of dredge area.

DMR will accept written comments about the potential impacts of the proposed dredging operation on fishing in the area and impacts to the fishing industry of the proposed route to EPDS and CAD cell sites. The deadline for written comments is January 25, 2021.

Comments may be sent to Amanda Ellis via email or mail: Department of Marine Resources, 21 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333; Email: dmr.rulemaking@maine.gov .

For more information about this project contact Denis-Marc Nault at Denis-Marc.Nault@maine.gov or (207) 592-0512.

The complete notice including maps of the proposed channel, CAD cell and Eastern Passage Disposal Site are attached.