The long-awaited dredging project for a waterway used for recreational boating is inching closer to becoming a reality.
A project to dredge part of Hammond Cove at a waterway bottleneck adjacent to the Locust Point Yacht Club, should enter its design phase shortly, with funding in place through two state budget grants, according to sources.
The NYC Department of Environmental Conservation is facilitating the project, said a spokesman for Senator Jeff Klein, who secured the grants, one for $150,000 for project planning, and another $1 million for the actual work.
After further study, bids will be solicited in a Request for Proposal, with this part of the project will be under the purview of NYC Economic Development Corporation, according to multiple sources.
“All of the grants have been approved and I’m happy to report that the Hammond Cove dredging project is moving forward,” said Klein in a statement. “It is now just a matter of executing the grants, which will allow the NYC EDC to initiate planning and design for the dredging work.”
The dredging of the cove has been a top community priority for years, said the senator, and in the past the project has been a top Community Board 10 capital budget priority request.
Soil samples taken last summer have proven to contain little if any material that could cause environmental concerns, meaning that it should be easier and less costly to dredge, said the spokesman.
Pat Devine, a community advocate for the project, said preliminary estimates from DEC stated subject to revision stated that based on the depth and width of the sand to be removed, the amount of soil being cleared could be approximately 20,000 cubic yards.
This would increase the level of clearance between the boat hulls and the sea floor, sometimes called a ‘draft,’ to roughly 6 to 12 feet, he said.
Currently, during some low tides, boats can get stranded in the cove, he said.
Doing so would allow boaters to motor or sail out of the cove and enjoy Long Island Sound without being a prisoner to the tide, he said.
“Now you can have a full boating day,” said Devine, adding that the removal of the silt should also improve the ability of emergency personnel to access the cove.
According to a previously published Bronx Times article, the FDNY informed LPYC in a 2014 letter that the agency believed that the depth of the water in Hammond Cove needed to be deepened to ensure access.
A EDC spokeswoman said that the agency is “currently in the process of getting the necessary grant funds released for the project.”
After that happens, she said, a feasibility analysis would determine the dredge design, including how much material will be removed.
Basil Seggos, DEC commissioner said in a statement that the dredging project is an “investment in community resilience, ensuring the Locust Point neighborhood has access to water at all times, particularly in the event of an emergency.”
The commissioner stated that Governor Cuomo’s environmental leadership and an environmental protection fund helps DEC “continue working with waterfront communities to advance projects like Hammond Cove” while protecting natural resources on waterfronts.