Sediment in Pawtuxet Cove blocking boaters

Providence, R.I. – Federal funding is on its way to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge Pawtuxet Cove. The $1.75 million will clear sediment that poured into the cove during last spring's floods.

The flooding pushed so much sediment down the Pawtuxet River that when it stopped at the mouth of the river it formed something like a speed bump. Corps of Engineers project manager Duban Montoya says that speed bump now forces commercial and recreation vessels to time their trips around the tides.

"As the tide goes out and the elevation water drops, the amount of space that's available for the boat it disappears," says Montoya. "And so they have to come in just during the high tides, which as you know they vary. So they have to play the schedule of the tides just to get in and out."

It's been five years since Pawtuxet Cove was last dredged, says Montoya, and 40 years before that. This round of dredging should begin early December.