The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is a federal agency responsible for the operation and maintenance of the New Bedford Hurricane Barrier, including the opening and closing of the two hurricane doors that guard the main shipping channel leading into the Harbor. USACE officials decide when the gates will be closed (i.e., when hurricanes threaten or for other severe weather, including coastal storms or strong high tides) and reopened. (See the Hurricane Plan for Recreational Boaters).
The Hurricane Barrier stretches across the water from the south end of New Bedford to the Town of Fairhaven. The barrier’s 150-foot opening closes during hurricane conditions and coastal storms make the Harbor one of the safest hubs on the eastern seaboard.