Events Leading to the Dredge of
July 2006

Oct 22, 2003

The FOBC initiate milestone efforts to formally organize, write by-laws and elect a board of officers.  Next meeting scheduled in February 2004.

Interim officers are as follows:
President - John Evans
Vice President - Jennifer Trump
Secretary - Susannah Beard
Treasurer - Sheila Neal
Dredging Coordinator - Neil Wilson
Web Site Manager - Neil Wilson
Membership Liaison - Sheila Neal
Congressional/Funding Support Coordinator - Nat Compton

Apr 27, 2004

Board of Officers Elected.  FOBC BY-LAWS adopted!

2004 Slate of Officers:
President - Tom Mountjoy
Past President - John Evans
Vice President - Sonny Hines
Secretary - Susannah Beard
Treasurer - Sheila Neal
Director at Large - Neil Wilson (Dredging Coordinator/Web Site Mgr)
Director at Large - Nat Compton

Copy of By-Laws

July, 2004

Bennett Creek is dredged by the Dredging Vessel Currituck. (Interim Dredge performed.)  Background: In February 2004, FOBC informs the Army Corps of Engineers that the channel entrance is approximately less than 3 feet in depth at MLW, the Corps initiates a water survey to confirm.  Corps notifies that the creek needs to be dredged.  In May, 2004, the City informs the FOBC that there is insufficient funds to perform an interim dredge.  The FOBC makes formal requests to the City via letters and phone conversations to discuss issue.  In June, 2004, the City approves funding for an interim (emergency) dredge. 

Jun, 2005

Observations have indicated the Bennett Creek entrance channel have began to deteriorate to the point that interim dredges are no longer effective.  The need for a full scale dredge is desperately needed.  It is noted that the last full scale (bucket) dredge occurred in May 1992 (13 years ago.)

 Nov, 2005

PRESS RELEASEFor Immediate Release: November 4, 2005Contact: Christy Boardman/Tinisha Weigelt (202) 225-6365Forbes secures $317,000 for Bennetts Creek Dredging ProjectWashington, D.C. – Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) announced $317,000 in federal funding for the dredging of Bennetts Creek as part of the Fiscal Year 2006 Energy & Water Appropriations Conference Report, which passed the House of Representatives today. Forbes requested funding for the Bennett's Creek Dredging Project on behalf of the City of Suffolk from the House Appropriations Committee. Bennetts Creek provides commercial and recreational users with access to and from the Nansemond and James rivers, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean. “Dredging of Bennett's Creek is essential to the retention and expansion of the City of Suffolk's maritime businesses. I'm pleased to have secured these funds and I am excited to see the impact of this project on recreational activities and tourism in Suffolk,” Forbes said.

Dredging is necessary to remove hazardous shoals within the entrance channel of Bennett's Creek, a navigable waterway from Suffolk to the Nansemond River. The appropriation of $317,000 will be used to prepare plans and specifications, perform hydrographic surveys, perform contract administration and related activities.

  May, 2006

The City and Corps of Engineers have been planning for a summer/fall dredge in 2006. The City is in receipt of a letter from the Army Corps of Engineers  regarding the City's matching funds. The City is in the process of releasing the funds to enable the Corps to move forward with the final dredge preparations. The money is appropriated in the CIP and will be available July 1. 

The Army Corps of Engineers have also made water depth surveys available for viewing via the internet.  Please go to our Surveys link to review latest survey data.

Oct 16, 2006

Full Scale dredging of Bennett Creek Entrance Channel begins.

The FOBC is "extremely pleased" to see the City of Suffolk has approved $260K in their current FY budget for the 06/07 dredge,  and has planned for another $400k into their Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for dredging in 2011 and again in 2015.  This timing (five years away) appears to be "right on the money" as far as the life expectancy of the Bennett Creek entrance channel before it will need to be dredged again.  This is based on 20 + years of historical data.  It appears that the development of a "long-term, permanent solution" is beginning to take shape.  (i.e., A 5 year tickler into the CIP to appropriate funds for the next required/anticipated dredge).  This should resolve the issue of having to wait until the channel is not navigatable at low tide, before the process is kick-started to accomplish a maintenance dredge.  (The process we know can take about 1-2 years.) 

The FOBC would like to acknowledge outgoing project engineer Steve Powell and new project engineer Gregg G. Williams, P.E., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District.  A special acknowledgement also goes to Charles Meeks, Senior Analyst, City of Suffolk for his hard work and dedication.

Dec 6, 2006

Full Scale dredge of Bennett Creek Entrance Channel COMPLETED!

The completion of the dredge re-establishes the the 3/4 mile entrance channel to a minimum width of 60' by approximately 6'-8' deep.  This marks the completion of the first full scale dredge since May 1992.

Many thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Suffolk for a job well done!

"You are now free to move about the country."

The daily commute to and from the Harborside Marina to the entrance channel.  During the project, dredge operators endured sustained/severely low tides and the infamous 2006 Thanksgiving Northeaster which ravaged Bennett Creek as well as the entire mid-Atlantic coast.

A beautiful site.  
Sunset with dredging operations winding down after a long hard days work..

Dec 20, 2006

The FOBC recognizes the following individuals for their professionalism and dedication to the successful completion of the 2006 Dredge Project.  The FOBC recognizes Charles Meek (City of Suffolk) with a letter of recognition and a plaque, Gregory Williams (Army Corps of Engineers - Norfolk District) with a letter of recognition and a plaque, and Steve Powell (Army Corps of Engineers - Norfolk District) with a letter of recognition and a plaque