Dredging of Oregon Inlet with Dare County Dredge
The National Park Service (NPS) is adopting an Environmental Assessment (EA) prepared by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the issuance of a special use permit to authorize Dare County to dredge Oregon Inlet at Cape Hatteras National Seashore (the Seashore).
Oregon Inlet, including the submerged lands, is situated within Seashore boundaries, which is administered as a unit of the National Park System (NPS) (16 U.S.C. § 459a-1). Activities within the Seashore, including navigation channel maintenance, must comply with the NPS Organic Act of 1916, the Seashore's enabling legislation, the NPS Management Policies, NPS regulations, Service wide guidance documents, and applicable park management documents. The USACE regulatory control over this project includes the dredging and discharge of dredged material within the confines of the Oregon Inlet corridor and the disposal areas, as a federally authorized navigation channel. The entire project corridor is approximately 2,300 acres, including the ocean bar and Pamlico Sound channels and the nearshore disposal area located at the north end of Pea Island.
Dare County is seeking a Special Use Permit to utilize a privately-owned hopper dredge in the same manner and under the same conditions as what is currently authorized for the USACE to perform maintenance dredging of small and/or isolated, regularly occurring shoals within Oregon Inlet.
The project is needed to maintain safe "best water" navigation on a year-round basis within the confines of Oregon Inlet and certain connecting channels from the sounds to the Atlantic Ocean for park visitors, county and federal agencies, commercial fishing industry, and the community.