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Posted 10/31/2016

Release no. 16-040


Contact
Dallas Edwards
(206) 764-6958
dallas.d.edwards@usace.army.mil

or

Lisa Lefeber - Port of Everett
(425) 388-0617
lisam@portofeverett.com

SEATTLE – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with local sponsor Port of Everett, began maintenance dredging of the lower channel of the Everett Harbor and Snohomish River on October 31.

The Corps awarded a contract to Portable Hydraulic Dredging, LLC. of Anchorage, Alaska., for $1.2 million. The 90,000 cubic yards of dredged material will be placed beneficially on Jetty Island’s west shore. Prior to dredging, the material is tested and the Corps prepares a biological evaluation in accordance with the Endangered Species Act. The Corps assures full compliance with the act prior to starting, and potential impacts are avoided through implementing timing restrictions designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Boaters in the area should slow down, pay attention to rig markings and be cautious around the operations. The work should be complete by mid-January.

The port-owned Jetty Island is a man-made island composed of sediment dredged from the Snohomish River. It began as a riprap jetty in the late 1800s and provided a protected harbor and navigation channel. The Port of Everett gained ownership of Jetty Island in 1929 and, with the help of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, built a new marsh of dredged river materials in 1989.

The original dredged material is more than 100 years old and has been added to over time as the result of maintenance dredging of the Snohomish River Channel. Juvenile salmon, waterfowl and bald eagles are just a few examples of the wildlife currently living on Jetty Island. Continuous work is being done to improve and expand the island’s wildlife habitat.

Jetty Island is as educationally important as it is for summer recreation, serving as the perfect teaching tool regarding the importance of wildlife preservation and the nearby estuary. There are several educational walks and tours offered to learn about the local ecosystem. Many visitors come to observe the wide variety of bird species that have made Jetty Island their home. More than 50,000 people visit the Jetty Island each year.

About the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

One of the Seattle District’s primary missions is to maintain the navigation channels and harbors in the Pacific Northwest. Maintenance and navigation dredging is done frequently in harbor areas, ports and marinas. A significant component of Washington’s economy depends on navigation and commerce, which in turn depends on dredging the state’s waterways, such as the Everett Harbor and Snohomish River.