The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with local sponsor Port of Everett, will begin maintenance dredging of the upper and lower channel of the Everett Harbor and Snohomish River November 18.
The Corps awarded a contract to Portable Hydraulic Dredging, LLC. of Anchorage, Alaska., for $1.5 million. Approximately 100,000 cubic yards of material will be dredged from the upper channel and placed on an adjacent upland site. The Corps will also dredge 40,000 cubic yards from the lower channel, which will be beneficially placed 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, pass on the marina side of the dredge, pay attention to rig markings, avoid traveling over the pipeline, and be cautious around the dredging 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 placed on Jetty Island and has been added to over time is more than 100 years old and has been added to overtime 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 around and 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.