Masseys Ditch And Sand Bars At Dead Low Tide

Masseys Ditch Area And The Sand bars On A Dead Low Winter Tide.

These drone shots and video really give you an idea of not only the size of these sand bars but how much space in the bay they are occupying.  These sand bars are cutting down on safe boat traffic options.  The wildlife, fish and everything is affected by these filled in areas of the Indian River Bay and Rehoboth Bay.  The Masseys dredge project  is supposed to help reduce the sand in some of these areas, which change constantly now due to storms, but one thing remains, the inland bays are filling in more and more.

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sand bar close up under water at dead low tide, you can see just how powerful the current is by the shape of the sand or profile.

The extreme low tides from the past few days caused by the full moon, and blow out winds has really exposed the sand bars.  This show just how impassable these areas are becoming.  Every year this gets worse and the shifting sands and shoals change the water flow.  The Coast Guard last year had to change the buoy markers to account for large shoals blocking off waterway access.

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“Bird” island along the Indian River Bay side of Masseys ditch

Drone footage below by Chris Driscoll of Driscoll Drones, shows just how many sandbars are on the Indian River Bay area from Burtons Island to Masseys Ditch.  In the center of the “channel” you can see the ice flotilla is at a dead stand still, indicating the tide is out completely for the most part.  This is the worst area around the Inland bays for congested boat traffic.  

 

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Opening of Masseys ditch channel into Indian River Bayside 
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We need more than just this area dredged, but everywhere around the inland bays.  By utilizing the Center of The Inland bays’ living shoreline programs and rebuild some marshes with dredge slurry.  That will help protect the bayside homes and communities more during storms, reducing the storm surge.  The marshes absorb that energy.  These marshes also clean the bay waters and provide habitat for all kinds of life.   Living shorelines will help build up and protect these marshes.

The Masseys ditch dredge project will pump the sand or dredge slurry under route 1, to the northbeach at the inlet, into the surf zone, adding that sand to sand bars systems.  This will rebuild sand bars is the plan, and allow the sand to travel north and naturally replenish beaches.   Hopefully the Masseys ditch dredge project gets underway soon and doesn’t take too long.  There will be a press release coming from DNREC soon with a project update.   Despite that project many of these outer sand bars beyond the projects scope, towards the Indian River Inlet will still be there this summer boating season.  Be careful out there.

Fish On!

Rich King

This drone footage by Chris Driscoll of Driscoll Drones shows different sections of the sand bars up close.

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