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DANGER SHOAL: A New Sign in Whittaker Creek Channel
Change to Whittaker Creek Channel Mark #3
May 21, 2024

Dan Allen is an Oriental resident, boater, and a member of The Friends of Whittaker Creek – an organization tasked with dredging Whittaker Creek Channel. He writes in explaining the new sign in that channel:

On May 16 the USCG Aids to Navigation Team changed the #3 Green Mark in the Whittaker Creek Channel.

For some time, the waters near the channel #3 mark have been shoaled in. Boaters would see the mark while navigating the channel and run aground when they got any where close to it. The Friends of Whittaker Creek contacted the Coast Guard some time ago and ask the mark be moved.

The Coast Guard indicated a move wouldn’t be possible for some time, but said they would remove the green #3 mark on the piling and replace it with a Danger Shoaling sign. That work was completed today.

A Danger Shoal sign in place of the former marker #3 sign.

They will also redesignate the green #3a floating mark, to #3.

Hopefully, this change will keep boaters on the red side of the channel where there is plenty of deep water.

The number 3A marker and the new shoal sign.

Related to this, the Friends of Whittaker Creek also applied for a dredging permit which will move part of the Whittaker Creek channel farther southeast. This will take advantage of the naturally deep water.

After some back and forth for modifications, adjusted detail and new dredging estimates, that request was just approved.

A survey of Whittaker Creek channel. The red lines are where the channel is now. The yellow lines show the proposed channel.

Dredging is still needed in the channel, but the slight change in direction will reduce the amount of dredging needed, and hopefully allow the channel to remain deep for a longer period of time. The yellow lines on the drawing below show what the the new channel will be after dredging.

We really wanted to keep the channel straight, but after much back and forth, we could not get approval to change the channel inside what the state considers to be the “Primary Nursing Area” (PNA) boundary.

There are still many hurdles to cross including additional state grant funding, spoils management, new spoils and dredging estimates and contract bids, but work continues. Many thanks to the 83 people and 5 marinas who have donated additional funds to help dredge the creek. Once all estimates are completed again, we’ll determine if more fund raising is needed.

If anyone has interest in helping with all this, please contact Dan Allen at dan_all@msn.com.

Whittaker Creek Channel with the shoal now clearly marked.

Posted Tuesday May 21, 2024 by Allison DeWeese

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