By Krista Pfunder
The town of Chesapeake Beach will receive a grant for $250,000 from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Waterway Improvement Fund to dredge Fishing Creek. Considered vital to the town’s economic development and local charter fishing, the Fishing Creek channel provides key access for town, Calvert County and Maryland residents.
“The Fishing Creek channel provides access to commercial fishermen and approximately 6,000 Maryland recreational boaters a year,” says Holly Wahl, town administrator for Chesapeake Beach. The funding enables that the town can use its location for dredge material placement and more of the federal funds can be used for dredging activities and jetty wall rehabilitation to keep the channel accessible.
The$250,000 will come as a reimbursement for the costs the town incurs from the work.
Chesapeake Beach has partnered with the Army Corps of Engineers and DNR to prepare for the federal dredging. The Corps of Engineers expects to bid on the work in October.
The expected cost to the federal government for this project, to include the jetty wall rehabilitation and the dredging, is $3 million. The town will shoulder 12 percent of the total project cost.
The access that the town provides to the Bay is a key element to the vitality of local businesses and improved property values for residents, Wahl says. “There are at least 20 charter boats docked in the town of Chesapeake Beach. The town was recently named a top fishing by spot nationally by FishingBooker. Many are attracted to the ease of access to the Bay and the experienced charter captains that are docked in Chesapeake Beach.”