Skip to Page Content Governor | General Assembly | Courts | Elected Officials | State Agencies
  Photo: Featured Delaware Photo
  Phone Numbers   Mobile   Help   Size   Print   Email

Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : Assawoman Canal Dredging Project

Assawoman Canal dredging and restoration updates


Rip-rap laid on by an excavator lines the banks during the ongoing dredging of the Assawoman Canal.


December 24, 2010 With dredging on the Assawoman Canal finally completed, DNREC will be removing equipment from the canal throughout January 2011. Once the equipment removal is finished, a crew comprising Division of Watershed Stewardship and Delaware State Parks employees will traverse the canal and its shores on cleanup duty, especially for any downed trees or limbs that are hindering navigation.


June 1, 2010 – DNREC has received State Wetlands and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit extensions through July 31, though the department is on task to have the canal dredging project completed by that date, with currently under a 1/2 mile of dredging remaining.

May 18, 2010 – Dredging continues in the Assawoman Canal as an extension has been granted by the regulatory agencies allowing for work to continue through May 28. If dredging is not completed by that date, DNREC will request additional weeks into June to allow for the project to be completed this season.   

Jan. 13, 2010 – DNREC has received an extension from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Delaware to dredge this year until April 15 in an effort to complete the project before the upcoming boating season. That date will also coincide with completion of the project, it's greatly anticipated. Project manager Charles Williams explained that a third confined disposal facility had been secured for dredge from the canal and, once constructed, it will expedite the dredging process. The facility was actually secured back in November, but weather-related issues precluded its construction. Currently, the dredge crew is making only about 50 feet of advance a day, primarily due to the use of a booster pump and the pumping distance to the disposal facility presently being used. The new disposal facility will not require use of a booster pump which is expected to double the daily advance rate. Mr. Williams also stated that he has been involved with the dredging of the canal in some capacity or other since 1984, and would like to see the project completed as soon as possible.


Sept. 14, 2009 – Dredging has resumed in the canal with completion of the project in sight, anticipated by December 31 when the dredging season ends due to environmental restrictions on fisheries habitat.


Jan. 8, 2009 – The Sussex Conservation District was contracted by the State of Delaware to perform mechanical dredging activities (land-based dredging using a hydraulic excavator) in the heavily shoaled northern portion of the canal around the Rt. 26 bridge and around the Harborview Marina in Ocean View.


The dredging project will not be completed as early as anticipated. Dredging ceased at the end of January due to fisheries restrictions, and will resume in September. At that point there will be approximately 1 mile of canal to be dredged, with completion expected by the end of the 2009 dredging season (Dec. 31). 


Sept. 25, 2008 – Hydraulic dredging resumed in the Assawoman Canal Sept. 22 and will continue through January 2009 or until the project is completed. 

Dec. 31, 2007 - Dredging has temporarily shut down in observance of fishery habitat time-of-year restrictions (January 1 - August 31). During the 2007 dredging season approximately 2,500 feet of hydraulic dredging advance was made. Also this year, rip-rap (adjacent photo) was put in place to stabilize the shoreline along the canal across from its confluence with the Bethany Loop Canal. Approximately two thirds of canal's dredging has been completed. With about a mile of canal left to go, the dredging project is on track for completion by end of 2008. 

Nov. 8, 2007 - The Sussex Conservation District, under contract to the state, will be installing rip-rap along a section of canal bank across from the Bethany Loop Canal. This rip-rap is meant to help reduce the undermining and erosion occurring along the canal due to the currents flowing through the Bethany Loop Canal. Preparation for this work has already begun and the rip-rap should be in place before the end of this year. The “Seidel” continues to make progress in the southern portion of the canal, having now advanced approximately 1,000 feet up it. The "Seidel" dredge with exposed cutterhead whic when lowered, breaks up and “vacuums” sediment to be sent to a disposal siteA booster pump has been added to the hydraulic dredging equipment to keep material running smoothly through the pipeline from the dredge to the disposal site, which is located on a section of the Assawoman Wildlife Management Area.


Oct. 15, 2007 - Hydraulic dredging resumed in the Assawoman Canal in early September and is expected to continue through year's end. Seasonal fisheries restrictions allow dredging to occur within the Inland Bays only from September 1-December 31. Any work not completed by the end of this dredging season will resume in the fall of 2008.  If additional funding is made available before the end of this dredging season, mechanical dredging operations in the northern section of the canal may resume this year. To date, the “Seidel”, a New Castle County-owned dredge, has made an advance of 700 feet this year within the canal since starting September 11.


Dec. 27, 2006 - Hydraulic dredging began in the canal during the week of December 18th and will continue through December 29th.  The Sussex Conservation District is handling the job for the Division using an excavator with a 60-foot boom working from both banks of the Canal.  Excavated material is being truck-hauled to an upland confined disposal facility located in the Fresh Pond State Park.  The Division’s dredge crew is moving pipeline into the southern portion of the waterway and positioning one of the state’s newest hydraulic dredges, the “Indian River,” to begin this part of the project. Material will be pumped via pipeline to a second upland disposal facility located on property owned by the Division of Fish and Wildlife.  

Dredging on the Assawoman CanalNov. 30, 2006 - The mechanical dredging portion of the project is going smoothly and is on track to have the northern section of the canal (from White Creek to the Route 26 bridge) near completion by the end of the year. Hydraulic dredging will extend from the Route 26 Bridge south to the Little Assawoman Bay.

Oct. 3, 2006 – The mechanical dredging portion of the dredging project began on this day. Work began just north of the Route 26 Bridge and will continue in a northerly direction toward the north end of the canal at White Creek.

Aug. 30, 2006 – Site clearing along the banks of the canal between its north end at White Creek and the Route 26 Bridge in Bethany Beach/Ocean View was initiated to facilitate the mechanical dredging portion of the project.


site map   |   about this site   |    contact us   |    translate   |