Hampton-Seabrook Harbor is one step closer to an emergency dredging project.
The Army Corps of Engineers says it plans to spend $4.6 million for maintenance in New Hampshire’s largest fishing port.
"Pending completion of environmental coordination and permits, real estate agreements and contract award, maintenance dredging of Hampton Harbor is anticipated to begin in late fall 2019," says Corps spokesman Tim Dugan.
Fishermen and charter boat owners say Hampton Harbor is overdue for the project -- that it's long been full of sandy shoals that block safe navigation and hurt coastal businesses.
New Hampshire's senators, who have been pushing for the dredging for at least a year, applauded the Corps' funding request.
"This project is critical to our commercial fishing industry, the vitality of our state’s economy, and the safety of Granite Staters in the region," said Sen. Maggie Hassan in a statement.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, whose office released a video of the shoaling in the harbor last year, said in a statement that the dredging "can't happen soon enough."