A dredge is pumping sediment to deepen Canalfront Park Marina boat slips and maintain water depth for deep-draft boats.
Ray Nornes Inc. of Berlin, Md. is doing the job for the fourth consecutive time. The company also dredged the marina in 2005, 2008, and 2011.
The City of Lewes awarded the company a $76,400 contract to dredge the marina’s 22 boat slips. The contract includes the cost of bringing in, setting up and later hauling out equipment and a per-cubic-yard charge for material removed.
“It really fills in quickly here,” said David Prince, a Nornes dredge operator who is working with Leonard Tyson, also a dredge operator.
The men have been dredging in Lewes since Nov. 1, when they started work in Pilottown Marina, a private facility, Prince said.
Prince said dredge spoils are pumped through a 3,000-foot pipeline to a site behind Anglers Fishing Center on Anglers Road.
Material dredged from the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal is soft, he said, which means it flows trouble-free through the pipeline, which can be a mile long.
“It’s soft mud. We can pipe sand that far, but sand can clog the pipe, which is a nightmare. We’ve got to take each section of pipe apart and shake it out,” he said.
He said the marina is being dredged to a depth of six feet at dead low tide and the job should be finished before the end of the year. To protect young fish and crabs, state law requires dredging to cease by Tuesday, Dec. 31.
The dredged material has been saturated with saltwater, so it isn’t a good fertilizer, Prince said.
“I think it takes something like seven years for all the salt to come out of it,” he said.