GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. – It's been more than 20 years since Jekyll Creek has been dredged. The $6 million dredging project is being funded by the federal government and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is doing the digging to make the channel deeper and safer for boaters.
"What they’re going to do is take out the 200,000 cubic yards of sediment, which people really like to call pluff mud," said Tyler Jones, communication specialist with the Coastal Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. "This is the shallowest point of the Intracoastal Waterway in Georgia and after the dredging project is completed, the depth of the water will be at 10 feet, which will allow larger boats to move through during low tide."
The dredging is taking place north of Downing Musgrove Causeway to St. Simons Sound.
"This is an important part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. There’s a lot of traffic going north and south and this is going to help get them through this area," Jones said.
The removed sediment will be placed in two locations. "About 97% of that material will go to that deep hole there," said Jones. "Another part of the dredge material is going to go right into the marsh in that area."
The Army Corp of Engineers hopes the tide will spread the pluff mud evenly along the bottom.
Engineers are trying to raise the elevation and allow new marsh to grow.
The technique is a first for Georgia, although the Corps had previous success with the operation in other parts of the country.
The dredging project is due to be complete by May 15.