Arrowhead Cove Dredging Project

The Arrowhead Cove pilot dredging project sediment removal project has been completed. Additional restoration such as tree planting and submerged aquatic vegetation planting to take place in spring 2024.

Arrowhead Cove was identified as a cove with relatively high sediment accumulation in multiple studies. Sediment dredging is a means to remove excess accumulated sediment caused by stream inputs, primarily during high rain and snow melt events, and shoreline erosion.

By conducting a pilot dredging project, Garrett County, the State of Maryland, property owners, and stakeholders will evaluate the pros and cons of dredging within Deep Creek Lake and learn if dredging other sediment-impacted Deep Creek Lake coves is a viable and cost-effective strategy for improving water recreation, water quality, and fish habitat. The State of Maryland has provided all the funding for the project costs thanks to the efforts of Senator George Edwards and Delegate Wendell Beitzel.

Arrowhead Cove at low water levels
Arrowhead Cove at low water levels

For information on the dredging project, please contact Bruce Michael at [email protected]

Public Meeting

Project Timeline & Status

  • September 2016 - Garrett County and Maryland Environmental Service (MES) enter into an agreement to perform additional investigations to identify one or more coves that would potentially benefit from dredging with the goal to improve public use and recreational access based on the December 2013 Deep Creek Lake: A Sediment Study conducted by Whitman, Baily, Cox & Magnani (WBCM) and commissioned by Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The full report on the study can be found here:
  • July 2017 - Completion of the Deep Creek Lake Dredging - Cove Evaluation Report. Arrowhead Cove was selected to advance for dredging. This report can be found on the project website. A Maryland Department of Natural Resources Waterway Improvement Fund (WIF) grant application submitted in 2017 and awarded in 2018. Due to funding issues, Alternatives Analysis and design did not move forward until 2019.
  • April 2019 - MES and Garrett County modify existing agreement to complete Alternatives Analysis and 30% project design study. The Alternatives Analysis can be found on the project website.
  • May 2020 - MES and subcontractor, Anchor QEA, finalized the Alternatives Analysis and 30% design to mechanically dredge approximately 15,000 cubic yards from Arrowhead Cove. Work on hold until additional funding secured.
  • May 2021 - $2.2M appropriated for the final design, permitting, procurement and construction of the Deep Creek Lake Arrowhead Cove Dredging Project. Coordination began with the regulatory and resource agencies, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), regarding the permitting for the project.
  • Fall 2021 - Wetland delineation (first step in submitting permit) completed.
  • October 2021 - Project presented to permitting agencies at a Joint Evaluation (JE) meeting for feedback prior to submitting permit application. Extensive feedback received. Design evaluated and revised to address concerns. Additional wave modeling studies completed following feedback from MDE. Construction can only take place from September through February due to environmental and recreational time of year restrictions and water level concerns.
  • November 2021 - Project Information Form (first step in DNR allowing their property to be used as the staging area for the dredging project) submitted to DNR. Continued coordination/comments back and forth since this date.
  • March 2022 - Garrett County received signed agreement from DNR for the $2.2M allocated by the State of Maryland for the Deep Creek Lake Arrowhead Cove Dredging Project.
  • March 2022 - Joint Permit Application submitted to MDE. Due to the complexity of the project and the involvement of multiple agencies, it will take a minimum of 14 months to finalize the design, obtain permits for the dredging, and procure a dredging contractor.
  • June 2022 - MES and Garrett County enter into an agreement to complete the final design, permitting, procurement and construction.
  • September 2022 - Received U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorization
  • February 2023 - Received DNR conditional authorization
  • March 2023 - Received Non-tidal Wetlands License from MDE
  • April 2023 - Project released for bid on April 28. Bids will be opened on May 26. For information about the bidding process, please email Maryland Environmental Service (MES) at [email protected] or access the project bid documents and entire solicitation at
  • May 24, 2023 - Public meeting at Garrett College - click here to view the recording
  • August 25, 2023 - Maryland Environmental Service has issued the project Notice of Intent to proceed to Byco Enterprises, Inc. out of Grantsville, MD. Byco will begin preparations and grading for construction of the project in October.
  • October 2023 - Byco Enterprises, Inc. should begin project preparation and construction in late October, but will not be conducting in-water activities until November.
  • November 2023 - Brookfield, as a cooperating and valued partner in the Arrowhead Cove dredging project, will begin lowering the water levels later this week with a goal of reaching the 2456.5’ by November 17. Lowering the lake levels will help facilitate the dewatering of Arrowhead Cove and the installation of the cofferdam. Byco Enterprises, Inc. anticipates they will begin the cofferdam installation the week of November 20. Complete dewatering of Arrowhead Cove will take place through the last week of November.
  • December 2023 - Mechanical dredging of the cove will begin in early December.
  • January 2024 - Completion of sediment removal; cofferdam removal and cove refilling. Additional restoration such as tree planting and submerged aquatic vegetation planting to take place in spring 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is dredging?

Dredging is the removal of sediment that has accumulated in the water. The removal of sediment from Arrowhead Cove will occur via mechanical dredging, which is the use of an excavator or another type of heavy equipment to dig out the bed of the body of water and remove the sediment. Sediment removal for this project will be done “in the dry” where a portion of the cove will be sectioned off, the water pumped out, and the sediment excavated from the dewatered area.

How was Arrowhead Cove selected?

In 2017, a dredging evaluation was completed, which compared the previously identified ten sediment impaired coves in Deep Creek Lake (Arrowhead Cove, Chadderton School Cove, Deep Creek Cove, Green Glade Cove, Harvey’s Cove, Hazelhurst Cove, Pawn Run Cove, Penn Cove, Poland Run Cove, and Turkey Neck Cove) to select the cove where dredging would be the most beneficial in terms of cost, public recreational use, and environmental benefits. Each of the ten coves were ranked based on selected Waterway Improvement Fund (WIF) Grant and environmental, economic, logistical and permitting criteria. Based on the evaluation, Arrowhead Cove was highest ranked. Significant factors contributing to this top ranking included the large amount of public boating that occurs in the cove and engineering logistics.

How much material will be removed?

The Deep Creek Lake Arrowhead Cove Dredging Project will remove up to 15,000 cubic yards (cy) of sediment from Arrowhead Cove. The volume of sediment removed will be limited by the project budget.

What will be done with the dredged material after it is removed from the lake?
At this time, the plan is to temporarily stockpile the dredged material at an on-site staging area adjacent to Arrowhead Cove and allow the material to dewater sufficiently so that it can be placed in dump trucks and hauled to the Garrett County Landfill. At the landfill, the dredged material will be used as landfill cover material. The formal approval process to be able to reuse the dredged material as landfill cover is underway.

How will the project impact lake access and recreation?

During the dredging, there will be a water retention structure in place around the targeted dredging area. This structure will block recreational access during the entirety of construction, and residents and visitors should not attempt to enter the area as it will be an active construction zone. Following dredging, the water retention structure will be removed and access to Arrowhead Cove will be open to residents and visitors.

What is the timeframe of the project?

The dredging is expected to take place between October 2023 and February 2024. Site preparation work at the adjacent property will likely begin in September 2023, while site restoration work will continue into the spring of 2024.

Where is the funding for the project coming from?

The funding for the Deep Creek Lake Arrowhead Cove Dredging Project is coming from a $2.2 million allocation from the State of Maryland through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

What can I expect Arrowhead Cove to look like when the project is complete?

Overall, Arrowhead Cove will look very similar, however water depths will increase allowing for improved access, even during periods of the year when water levels are at the lower end of the operating rule band. The actual increase in depth is dependent on the volume of sediment that is dredged from the lake but will likely increase between 1-4 ft throughout the targeted dredging area. Additionally, habitat features will be installed in the shoreline vicinity including rock clusters and submerged aquatic vegetation plantings. These features will increase available habitat and reduce the potential for invasive species moving into the area.

How will this project impact traffic?

There will be a temporary increase in truck traffic along Garrett Highway during initial staging area construction and as the dredged material is transported to the landfill and the trucks return to the staging area to reload. There will also be increased truck traffic at the intersection of Garrett Highway and Glendale Road, as that is the location of the staging area. At this time, the traffic pattern for the trucks is anticipated to follow existing traffic patterns on public roads, and crossings of Garrett Highway will be via the traffic signal at the intersection of Garrett Highway and Glendale Road. The Deep Creek Lake Arrowhead Cove Dredging Project team will continue to coordinate closely with the team managing the Glendale Road Realignment Project, which is a completely separate project from the dredging project, and will adjust traffic patterns for the dredging project as needed.

Will there be additional noise in the area during dredging?

There is expected to be a localized increase in noise levels resulting from the mechanical excavation equipment as well as truck traffic to transport material to the staging area. Construction operations will be limited to specific work hours and follow local noise ordinances. Construction activities will not take place during overnight hours.

Will there be an odor associated with the dredged material?

While there is the potential for unwanted odors due to the exposed sediments, based on past project experience the odor is expected to be limited and similar to the existing conditions when the sediments are exposed at low water levels. Additionally, the timing of this work will take place in the colder months which help to limit the odor. Potential sources of odor include the exposed sediments in the lake following installation of the water retention structure and the stockpiling and dewatering of dredged material at the staging area. Odor is an unavoidable consequence of the natural decay of aquatic plant life and benthic organisms, but it is not anticipated to be a nuisance.

Where can I find out more information?

For additional information, please refer to this project website or contact Bruce Michael, Garrett County Government, at [email protected]