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Old 29-08-2005, 09:35   #1
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ICW Action Alert

Critical News Concerning the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway
by Rosemary Lynch, Director, AIWA
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association:

”We have been notified Lockwood?s Folly, a portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in North Carolina, is experiencing severe shoaling and commercial traffic is being restricted to navigating only during high tides. The result is that barges are waiting, sometimes for as long as 12 hours before navigating through the area.
The Corps of Engineers does not have money in their budget to do emergency dredging to open up the waterway. The situation is dangerous and totally unacceptable.
I am asking you to contact your members of Congress today and ask them to provide emergency funds for the US Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District to dredge this area. Go to the AIWA web site at to locate your Congressional representatives. Please use phone, email or fax to send your message. Members of Congress need to hear from their constituents about this situation before it becomes worse.
I am asking all who receive this message to voice your concerns. We need to make sure that our legislative leaders in Washington DC are aware of the far reaching effects of this situation.”

See the articles at From: :
Which states, in part:
"... In the United States Federal Budget, recently sent to Congress by the Administration, there has been $0 allocated for maintenance of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway
. That's right; at least as I understand it, a big, fat goose egg for any dredging and/or maintenance of aids to navigation along the entire track of the Atlantic ICW. I must admit to being floored by this utter lack of funding!

How long does anyone think the Waterway will remain a viable entity to pleasure craft (not to mention commercial) traffic without dredging those shoal prone spots we can all think of? I can answer that question - "NOT LONG!"

And, that leads directly to the critical short-term problem that I mentioned above. Over the past six months or so, the Waterway has been shoaling, as it often does, along its passage behind Lockwood’s Folly Inlet, and across the mouth of Lockwood’s Folly River in southeastern North Carolina. Depths in the Waterway channel at MLW have dropped to a mere 3 feet. This portion of the ICW has now been CLOSED to commercial Waterway traffic except at high water, and, even then, apparently the tow captains have to get special permission to proceed.

With the new and seemingly total lack of funding for dredging the Atlantic ICW, the Army Corps of Engineers is scrambling to try and find the necessary moneys in some other part of their budget to dredge this channel. There is NO guarantee that they will succeed.

Can you imagine the chaos this situation will cause this spring, if not remedied by dredging, as the annual snowbird migration begins moving north???!!!! Consider this; the nearest, completely reliable inlet south of Lockwood’s Folly is Charleston, while the nearest reliable seaward cut to the north is the Cape Fear River. (Of course, you could use Little River Inlet near Calabash or the Winyah Bay inlet, but, while both are good enough for local captains, visiting cruisers may, quite rightly, not feel totally comfortable using either of these channels). Imagine all northward bound boats, large or small, sail or power, being REQUIRED to go outside from Charleston to Cape Fear, no matter what the weather, to continue their northward migration! ..."

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 29-08-2005, 15:12   #2
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As I understand it the ICW stretch at Lockwoods Folly was dredged last year and is still quite good. The warning, unless I'm mistaken, pertains to the inlet (Lockwood's Folly Inlet) and this inlet is seldom used by ICW travellers. Having said this, it sure doesn't hurt to keep at the politicians. I skipped this stretch coming home as I kept my boat in Charleston but three other boats from my club did go through it and returned in June saying it was okay.

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Old 29-08-2005, 15:35   #3
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Here's a link to the latest survey of this stretch (JUly 2005)

The water's still pretty good.
Rick I
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Old 30-08-2005, 05:04   #4
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ICW & Budget Victim

I totally agree this is a huge issue from both safety and economic angles. This whole deal has me baffled. Have the senators and congressional types from ICW states weighed in on this when it counts? Do the Feds just consider the ICW a "state" issue?

If parts of the ICW shoal to closing levels, a good number of businesses that depend on transient dollars could fall too.
What worries me is that the marine trades and sailors are independent types and while normally fine, it would be nice to step up with one big voice like all the other special interests do.

If the Corps budget is tight now, imagine what it will be like after the needed hurricane season repair work! JR
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Old 30-08-2005, 08:37   #5
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f the Corps budget is tight now, imagine what it will be like after the needed hurricane season repair work!
I think that budget has just been "blown" by Katrina
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Old 31-08-2005, 14:07   #6
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Yes, I agree that the Corps will have its hands full (and its pockets kept empty) by the shoaling in the Gulf ICW caused by the hurricanes of last year and this year. Ivan caused lots of problems in my area of the Gulf ICW last year. In fact the dredges were working on the ICW near Perdido Key and had just started a project dealing with shoaling caused by Ivan dredging the Bon Secour River boat channel in southeastern Mobile Bay where I live. I just got back from our evacuation late yesterday and haven't had a chance to see if Katrina's high surge on Mobile Bay damaged the dredge or moved the pipes which had taken them a good bit of time to deploy. Also, as an aside. Our marina entrance which was partially shoaled in last year by Ivan probably got another big dump of Mobile Bay mud on Monday. The fix for that has to come out of our pockets. Unless we can get a FEMA loan

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