‘Critical Harbor of Refuge’ status for Broad Creek
by Larry S. Chowning
Middlesex County Administrator Charles Culley has been authorized to make a formal request to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to have Broad Creek in Deltaville be considered as a “Critical Harbor of Refuge.”
The Middlesex County Board of Supervisors approved the action at its meeting on Jan. 6.
A Critical Harbor of Refuge is a harbor considered a safe haven in which mariners can moor in the event of foul weather. In 2004, Broad Creek was considered for this designation, but it was not placed on the list, said Culley.
|Designation may help creek dredging efforts.|
The narrow mouth of Broad Creek on the Rappahannock River is filling in and this has created problems for incoming and outgoing boat traffic. The creek is the busiest harbor in the county. It has 13 marinas and over 2,000 boats moored there. It was first dredged in 1939 and has been dredged several times since.
The Army Corps of Engineers set aside $350,000 for engineering of the project. However, supervisor Fred Crittenden remarked, “I haven’t seen a thing happening down there.”
Culley said the $350,000 is being used to determine how the creek is going to be dredged. “We need another $670,000 before dredging can start,” he added.
Crittenden said the county needs to find out what’s been accomplished with the $350,000, and what’s left to be done. “Broad Creek is critical to the economy of Middlesex County,” he said. “Here we have one of the most important resources in our county and people can’t get to it.”
In his letter to the Corps, Culley wrote, “Please accept this letter as a formal request from the Middlesex County Board of Supervisors to begin an analysis of Broad Creek as a Critical Harbor of Refuge. Our offices stand ready to assist in obtaining usage data or other information that may be needed by the Corps.”
In other matters on Jan. 6, the board: