Funding included for dredging of Hampton harbor

November 23, 2018

HAMPTON -- Officials concerned the Hampton Harbor was becoming shallow beyond use celebrated new funding for the harbor’s emergency dredging this week.

The $4.6 million needed to complete the dredging was included in the Army Corps of Engineers’ 2019 Work Plan, according to U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office. Shaheen and other New Hampshire congressional delegates praised the Army Corps for including the funding to get the work completed next year.

Shoaling has caused sand to collect in the harbor to make it shallow enough for boats to get stuck at high tide. The harbor supports 90 lobster and fishing boats, a fishing cooperative, emergency boats and a marina, and officials have predicted the harbor would become unusable in the next few years if no dredging took place.

“Dredging at Hampton-Seabrook Harbor is desperately needed,” said Shaheen, D-N.H., who was joined in efforts to push for the dredging by U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H.

“It needs to be dredged as soon as possible,” added Shea-Porter. “This critical project will make the harbor safer and help our commercial fisherman.”

The harbor was last dredged in 2013. Shaheen said New Hampshire’s delegation plans to continue working with local and federal partners to ensure the emergency dredging is completed in a timely manner.

Business owners also were happy about the news of the dredging this week. Angel Eaton, whose family runs Al Gauron’s Deep Sea Fishing and Whale Watching, said their whale watch boat got stuck six or seven times this year, a lot for a business that depends on a few summer months to earn the bulk of its revenue.

“It was a real problem,” Eaton said. “We’re very happy about it.”

By:  Max Sullivan
Source: Seacoast Online