What’s Happening, Westport? Jen Tooker On River Dredging

The Army Corps of Engineers is beginning the Saugatuck River dredging project.

What’s involved? Where exactly will they dredge?

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker explains the process, with Dick Kalt of the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston.

This Y’s Men podcast is released every 2 weeks. Click below to listen. If you have a question for the next episode, email: westport@ysmenwestportweston.org.

3 responses to “What’s Happening, Westport? Jen Tooker On River Dredging

  1. The project started many years ago. I single handedly unofficially led it when the town lost sight of the project due to employee departures. I coordinated with the USACE, Westport, politicians, and others to keep it top of mind. I am extremely disappointed to learn that the dredging is only covering Rive Bistro to Arezzo. IMO there are issues between Rive Bistro and the mooring field. I had have kept boats on the River for 15+ years and used the river for 15 years before that. Even six years ago I could only transit from the bridges out to the sound during mid-to-high tide. I think that the dredged depth should be greater than 4′ at MLLW, at least between the bridges all the way to the mooring field. Many boats require 4-7′. During very low tides the existing channel becomes impassable to anything other than very small boats. What a bummer!

    It would also be great if Westport is finally working on a harbor management plan and updating the harbor. I have volunteered countless times to help create a plan. I have visited dozens of harbors in the north east, many with plans, that I have read, and there are big benefits. For one, derelict abandoned vessels can be handled. There have been threats to other boats and property from abandoned vessels many times in over the years. Westport really has what can be an absolute gem. Build a jetty to protect the harbor from the East, dredge and expand the mooring field, get a launch service operating. Downtown business would be booming. Visitors would be able to day trip, overnight, take their tenders up the river, or use the launch service. Obviously charge for moorings. The jetty would protect the harbor, homes, boats, etc. Westport can definitely afford it. I am guessing many would oppose it.

  2. Donald Bergmann

    I am pleased that Jen Tooker provided this update. I have little to no knowledge of dredging but am also surprised that it does not include areas under the Cribari Bridge. As to four feet, that too seems low. I hope Jen Tooker will provide some more information. The fact that this effort will cost Westport nothing in funding is fabulous.
    Don Bergmann

  3. Werner Liepolt

    The assessment of the US Army Corps of Engineers on the extent of necessary dredging of the Saugatuck seems to deflate the expansive plans for downtown restaurant barges, train-to-town center ferries, and other grandiose plans I’ve heard bantered about over the past decade.

    Like a previous commenter, I wonder what our harbor plans are and whether they figure into the dredging project. Is it possible that a more developed Westport harbor plan might have instigated a more ambitious USACE dredging plan?

    I am interested to hear a town-generated projection of how the dredging will affect our commercial, recreational, and residential quality of life.

    I’m also interested to understand how toxic the dredged material will be and where it will be disposed of…