Back Bay Dredging Set to Begin in Ocean City

Back Bay Dredging Set to Begin in Ocean City

Back bay dredging will make it easier for owners to get their boats out of their slips.


There’s been a slight delay in the start of bayside dredging in Ocean City, but city officials assured that the work will be done long before the boating, swimming and fishing season kicks into high gear.

The work, originally estimated to begin in January, is scheduled to begin within days, Ocean City Public Information Officer Doug Bergen said.

“Mobilization activities are anticipated to be completed this week, with start of dredging to begin Friday or Monday within Snug Harbor and North Point Lagoon,” Bergen said. “The contractor will then work to the south all the way to Clubhouse Lagoon by the end of March.”

Mayor Jay Gillian has been in office since 2010. In the early years of his administration, he shifted the focus to clearing the back bays that were choked with sediment.

Shown in this picture, dredging is done in Snug Harbor in 2020. Snug Harbor will be one of the first areas dredged in the new program.

Gillian credits a robust multiyear, multimillion-dollar dredging program with providing cleared channels for homeowners, vacationers, owners of marinas and other businesses to enjoy.

“This has been our plan since I became mayor,” Gillian said in an interview. “The back bays give people access to recreation, and the businesses there thrive because the channels are maintained.”

Gillian noted that another important, if not the most important aspect of clearing sediment from the back bays is safety – for boaters and protection from storms.

“You have to maintain a complete island,” he said. “I think we put an amazing program together and I am proud of it. We keep working on ideas to continue to improve the back bays and to build back up our marshes.”

In a statement Jan. 23, Gillian said that the state Department of Transportation will contribute $1.3 million toward the cost of the dredging project.

“We plan to put that money back into the project by dredging two feet deeper in Ocean City Lagoon, Clubhouse Lagoon and Bluefish Lagoon, and by adding the bay areas at the ends of 7th Street and Eighth Street,” he noted in statement.

He continued, “I want to thank ACT Engineers for their work to renew our island-wide dredging permit for another five years and for their continuing efforts in securing state funding for Ocean City.”

He said over the past several months the ACT team “has been working with state officials over the past several months,” which resulted in the announcement from the DOT for the additional funding.

In the distance next to the bridge is one of the disposal areas for muddy sediment that will be dredged from the lagoons.