Events Leading to the Dredge of
April 20013

May 5, 2008

The FOBC issues a message regarding the need to maintain strong ties with commercial business interests to sustain Federal support for dredging! (See Article)

May 3, 2009

On April11, 2009, an e-mail from a credible source reports "potential" shallow waters in the Bennett Creek Entrance channel, prompting Neil Wilson to investigate its current status. Summarizing, the report indicated the "channel in is now no more than 5' at a normal low tide."

The Army Corps of Engineers informs FOBC
the last published survey of the Bennett Creek Dredge project was performed in February 2008 and reported a controlling depth of 3.1 feet below Mean Lower Low Water located 158 yards downstream from Red Daybeacon No. 4. The controlling depth represents the lowest single sounding within the project and is not necessarily representative of the entire channel. The survey and information above is available on the Norfolk District website at under Navigation and then Electronic Survey Distribution System. (See FOBC/Survey Link.)

The City of Suffolk is the local sponsor for this Federal project. At this time, the Corps have not been contacted nor had any discussions with them regarding a request for an expedited maintenance event for the project. The Corps will attempt to contact them and will ask that they keep you advised of any new information.

Though the Norfolk District has not yet received funding from the anticipated Omnibus appropriations bill, we do not anticipate any for this project. We will soon begin preparations for the Fiscal Year 2011 budget and it is planned to express capability for work on this project in that budget.

The FOBC notes the City of Suffolk's 2009-2010 Operating Budget and 2010-2019 Capital Improvement Plan details $120,000 in funding as "REQUESTED" but "NOT RECOMMENDED" in 2009-2010. The next time funds come available are in 2011-2012, then again in 2013-2014, etc.

A meeting of FOBC members should be convened soon to discuss.

Nov 11, 2010

On Nov 11, 2010, FOBC member Jeff Lynch submits a letter to the the Honorable Randy Forbes requesting support and sponsorship to enable a fiscal year 2011 dredging operation for the navigational channel located at the mouth of Bennett’s Creek where it intersects the Nansemond River. Specifically, dredging of this channel is required between Green Day Markers #1 and #3 located at the mouth of the channel. (See letter). (See survey1 and survey 2.)

Dec 3, 2010

The Honorable Randy Forbes, US Congress and Colonel Andrew Backus, US Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District acknowledged lack of federal funding to execute a dredge based President's budget giving low priority to fund shallow draft projects, such as Bennett's Creek. The Corps acknowledge their capability to monitor the depth of the channel. Most recent surveys indicate the channel is shoaling significantly and project users are having a very difficult time using the channels in a safe and efficient manner. The Corps also stated that they maintain the capability through the Federal budget process to finance 59% of the project, when Federal funds are available. (See letter).

Mar 28, 2011
CAUTION - Bennetts Creek Entrance Channel may be unnavigatible during periods of extreme low tides, typical of summer conditions when winds are predominately from the southwest. Boaters are requested to inform the FOBC of actual conditions subsequent to issuance of this caution. This website will be updated with information as it is received.
July 1, 2012

Bennett Creek Entrance Channel - Dredge Project Update: July 1, 2012 (Compiled by Pat Hillard, Bennett's Creek Landing Marina Association Representative)
(See 2012 Hillard Dredge Report.)

More updates coming....
April 2013 Dredging Operations by Curritick (below)