Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Winter Harbor is a tidal creek that flows between a sandy barrier system and an eroding marsh shoreline. It is an important waterway that provides access to the Chesapeake Bay from the Winter Harbor watershed. In the past, Winter Harbor Inlet was the only hydraulic connection from the Winter Harbor watershed and Chesapeake Bay. The two open water areas of Winter Harbor were separated by marsh channels that hydraulically connected to the mouth at the present-day Winter Harbor Inlet. The federally-defined channel at Winter Harbor was authorized by Congress in 1950. It was authorized as a 12 feet (ft) deep, 100 ft wide channel extending to the 12-ft contour in Chesapeake Bay into Winter Harbor to a point just east of the public landing, a distance of about 7,600 ft. A mooring and turning basin were constructed 12 ft deep and 400 feet2 with a flared entranced 300 ft long. A traffic survey in 1982 found that the 12 ft depth was not justified and a 6 ft deep channel was maintained. (...)