Nov 7, 2012

Penobscot Bay & River Dredging 101

Here is a compendium  of articles and websites from 1990 to 2012  about dredging in Penobscot Bay and River. (Last time Searsport harbor was dredged was 2000, River in 1008).
Mack Pt Dredging 1966

Useful  background material to help you understand the dredging permit process , how things got to where they are now, and who is doing what. (This blog entry will  be updated, so check back occasionally)
Army Corps of Engineers Searsport Dredging Plan webpage (updated  March 2012)

Searsport Harbor Dredge Spoil testing 1990-2002
Briggs Testing of Maine (based in Belfast) did the 1990 testing, and North East Laboratory, (of Waterville) did the 1992 testing. Note the lead and mercury in the samples.

Mercury Testing of upper Penobscot Bay and lower river  sediments 2008  (pdf)
"...Mercury in the offshore sediments of the Penobscot estuary were highest in the upper estuary and decreased in a regular pattern to Vinalhaven Island, where they were similar to those in the uncontaminated reference estuary. ....The high concentrations of [mercury] in the sediments of the lower Penobscot River and upper estuary.... are higher than NOAA levels of concern for toxic effects on aquatic life."

Maine DEP Dredging application

Maine DMR  Brian Swan: DMR’s "Environmental Coordinator" including dredging permits.   see his webpage 

DAMOS website (Disposal Area MOnitoring System)  New England District Army Corps of Engineers; manages and monitors dredge disposal sites, Long Island Sound to Maine

News Articles and Blog entries 2000 - 2009
April 2000
Lobstermen Oppose Dredge Spoil Dump. Ellsworth American

May 2000 Fishermen's Voice "MACK POINT POLLUTION  May 2000  (partial article
August 2000 Paul Molyneaux, August 06, 2000 New York Times

April 2002.Working Waterfront  Dredge Committee wraps it up

July 2005 Rockland Disposal Site 2005 Bay Blog

Sept 2007  Dredge Spoils from the former Eastern Fine Paper mill site in Brewerheaded for Rockland Disposal Site.  Bay Blog

March 13, 2009  Listen to a 7 minute audio excerpt from the March 13, 2009 meeting of ME legislature's Transportation Committee. In the recording, Commissioner Cole talks about using $timulus money for dredging near Sears island.

Sept 2009  Sears Island - dredging of island approaches may rise again  Bay Blog
Includes Recording of legislative hearing in 2009  on the Searport dredging bill whose ultimate poison fruit is in the Transportation Bond that just got approved

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