J.F. Brennan Company participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the beneficial use dredging project at Quonochontaug “Salt” Pond, bordering Charlestown and Westerly, Rhode Island, on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. U.S. Senators from Rhode Island, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse visited the site and surveyed the project’s success.
Andrew Timmis, of J.F. Brennan, the Wisconsin-based contractor responsible for the dredging at both Ninigret and Quonnie ponds, said he had appreciated being able to see the dredged sediment returned to the marsh.
“As a dredging contractor, usually the stuff we pick up we put away somewhere, bury it, it’s hazardous or something else,” he said. “In this case, you get to see what was done, so it’s really nice.”
Featured Image Above: L-R (Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and J.F. Brennan’s Andrew Timmis walking the Quonnie Pond Marsh).
Senator Reed, called attention to the import role that salt marshes and ponds play in protecting coastal regions. “Rising ocean waters, the changing temperature of the ocean, all those things have tremendous effects on Rhode Island,” he said. “Our first line of defense are the salt ponds, the marshes, the natural protections that we have.”
Caitlin Chaffee, policy analyst with the state Coastal Resources Management Council, managed the three-month dredging project, which began last November and involved a collaboration between numerous federal, state and local governments and agencies, environmental groups, charitable foundations and local businesses and citizens.
The Quonochontaug breachway was built in 1904. This is the first time since inception that the breachway has been dredged and the material used for beneficial restoration.
The J.F. Brennan crew did a nice job rebuilding the the Quonnie salt march, said William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America. “I visited the project in the final week of restoration in January 2019, and really does look great today.”