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Public Forum Regarding Dahlgren Navy Systems Warfare Center Test Range Expansion

March 29 @ 6:00 PM 8:00 PM

In December 2022, the Army Corps of Engineers announced a Public Notice for the Dahlgren Naval Warfare Center to expand their weapons and munitions test range on the Potomac River. The test range is already the Department of Defense’s largest open water range. The Public Notice announced an expansion of the test range area, munitions expansion and testing for simulated chemical and biological agents.

Based on our request, the Corps of Engineers agreed to reopen the public comment period and it is now open to take comments until April 7, 2023.

As a result of the Naval Surface Warfare Center plans to expand the largest open water weapon testing range in the country, the Virginia Waterman’s Associations, boat captains, and river users have expressed concerns about navigation safety and potential impacts to the Potomac River. Potomac Riverkeeper Network has asked the Navy to provide more information about the proposed expansion. Watermen have significant concerns relating to the oysters beds within and near the expanded and the existing test range.  Additionally, the expanded range could potentially force vessels into shallow waters and may pose navigational safety concerns, but the Navy has denied repeated requests for a public hearing and thus far has refused to respond to questions from river users.

Please join us at the Potomac River Fisheries Commission in Colonial Beach to discuss potential impacts of the proposed weapons testing expansion to the Potomac River, on recreational boating, commercial fishing and shellfish harvests.

MARCH 29 FROM 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Potomac River Fisheries Commission Building
222 Taylor Street
Colonial Beach, VA 22443

The Navy’s plans for expansion provided limited opportunity for public comment over the holiday break. Thankfully, the public comment period has been reopened until April 7, 2023. If you have concerns or questions, please let them know by sending your comments here!