Wachapreague Channel Dredging

Project Scope
The project consists of removing critical shoals from the federal channel and dredging to a minimum depth of -6 feet Mean Lower Low Water, which will provide safe access for vessels utilizing the harbor at the Town of Wachapreague. Approximately 7,500 feet will be dredged from the confluence of Finney Creek and Bradford Bay eastward to the junction with the Burton’s Bay channel.  Dredged material will be deposited at a previously used overboard placement site southwest of the Bradford Bay Federal Channel, between the mainland and Bradford Bay.

Initial project efforts included hydrographic surveys to examine the channel's condition and subsequent analysis to analyze and design potential placement locations.  The Norfolk District performed planning, design and data collection and secured environmental permits from state agencies to complete the dredging.

The Waterway on the Coast of Virginia Federal Navigation Project was authorized by the River and Harbor Act of June 25, 1910 and modified by the River and Harbor Act of March 2, 1945.

Wachapreague Channel is a component of the Waterway on the Coast of Virginia’s (WCV) Federal Navigation Project and is located on Virginia's Eastern Shore.The channel extends eastward from the Town of Wachapreague and serves as a connection to the seaside barrier islands and the ocean inlet. 

Norfolk District last dredged an adjacent area of the WCV in 2004, and shoaling has developed since the last dredging cycle. The U.S. Coast Guard Station Wachapreague has reported difficulties navigating the waterway at lower tidal cycles, restricting their ability to carry out critical mission operations. The station is also responsible for securing the no-boating zone for rocket launches from NASA Wallops Flight Facility.

The Norfolk District has contracted the Contrell Contracting Corporation to complete the dredging, which should take approximately three to four weeks to complete. Contrell expects to mobilize their equipment to the project location in mid-May, 2013 and commence dredging operations shortly thereafter. The Corps has given the contractor 90 days to complete the work.

100 percent federally funded


Early May 2013

Contractor mobilization

Mid-May 2013

Dredging begins

Environmental Compliance


Dredging complete

NLT mid-August








Map with view of Eastern Shore and Wachapreague

Project Contact

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers logo803 Front St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

Project Stakeholders

Blank graphic -- no infoTown of Wachapreague
P.O. Box 242
Wachapreague, VA 23480

Official seal of the U.S. Coast GuardU.S. Coast Guard
5th District

431 Crawford Street
Portsmouth, Virginia 23704

NASA Wallops logo

NASA Wallops Flight Facility
Wallops Island, VA
757- 824-1000



Cottrell Contracting Corporation
328 North Battlefield Boulevard
Chesapeake, Virginia 23320