The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is optimistic an agreement may allow the North East Marina to operate this boating season.

Recently, new Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) dredging regulations have put a halt on required permits.

There’s been a lot of frustration from local residents about this issue, but some said they hope they’re finally catching a break.

The tide may be turning for the fate of the North East Marina this season.

On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission announced a modified dredging approach that has a high chance to be permitted for the marina basin this year.

“We did go from a situation last week and earlier this week of great concern, and now we’re cautiously optimistic that things are going to work out,” said Mike Parker, communications director for the PA Fish and Boat Commission.

On Monday, the members of the community showed out at the North East Township Building to voice their concerns with a potential closure and to learn more.

In the time since, the DEP met with fish and boat commission engineers on-site this week.  

After that meeting, they were able to come to an agreement.

“We did determine that the water level has come up significantly, and we believe that based on that an approach of some limited dredging in areas of most concern, we think that we can provide an environment there within the basin in which we think that boating could be safe for the season,” Parker stated.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but if agreements with the DEP continue as anticipated, the fish and boat commission said that the installation of docks into the marina is scheduled to take place around mid-April, prior to dredging.

And while the situation may be resolved this year, the marina could find itself in the exact same position this time next year. The estimated $15 million of infrastructure repairs still loom over the marina’s fate.

“Looking into next year, I would say that we do have concerns about the infrastructure of the facility. We’ve been upfront that we’re concerned about the costs and the long-term feasibility of maintaining the marina. So, at this time, those infrastructure needs are still being assessed and we will continue to do that,” Parker explained.

Again, final conditions are still being worked out, but the fish and boat commission said they’re highly optimistic that the marina will be operational for the season.