Three Months of Dredging: August 1 – October 31

Weeklong process: moving 200,000 oysters out of project area before 2013 dredging/NewNYBridge

Weeklong process: moving 200,000 oysters out of project area before 2013 dredging/NewNYBridge

Tomorrow starts the second stage of three-month (to Halloween) dredging in the Hudson River with round-the-clock operations.

“All excavation will be done in shallow water to the east side of the Federal Navigation Channel. Various barges will be anchored outside of the Federal Navigation Channel downstream of the bridge,” the Local Notice to Mariners reported.

“Operations will be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Vessels on scene will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16,” it continued. “Mariners are urged to use extreme caution and transit the area at their slowest safe speed to create minimum wake after passing arrangements have been made.”

Mariners are advised to transit the main channel, reduce wake and use extreme caution while transiting the area in the vicinity of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Detailed information — including the Coast Guard’s weekly Local Notice to Mariners, excerpted and in its entirety — is listed under Boater Safety Information on the New NY Bridge website. A LNM primer is here.

Project officials report the dredging deepens the water level near the project site and removed an estimated 187,960 cubic yards of sediment from the bottom of the Hudson River.

The specially-designed environmental clamshell buckets will send less sediment back into the river. Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) trained its field personnel how to protect sturgeon, including how to “safely retrieve, keep alive and return to the river” any fish accidentally caught during the three-month period.

“Obviously our concerns remain the same and the timing is urgent,” Riverkeeper, Inc. Media Specialist Leah Rae said. “We are calling on the National Marine Fisheries Service to act immediately to protect the fish while they investigate this dramatic increase in vessel strikes.”

Project officials say staff will be supervised by the NMFS to make sure the fish are protected; however, Riverkeeper is wary.

Six sturgeon fatalities throughout the estuary were reported to the state Department of Environmental Conservation between 2009 and 2011 — and nearly 13 times that amount (76 sturgeon fatalities) were reported between 2012 and 2014 (since construction began).

See full Riverkeeper article here.

After testing the mud, TZC will process and dispose of it an offsite location. Approximately two feet of gravel (thing giant fish tank) will be placed in the dredged channel so boats and vessels don’t kick up sediment.

“If even one sturgeon mortality were caused by a project vessel strike that would exceed the project’s allowable take,” Rae said.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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