Corps of Engineers begins Grays Harbor maintenance dredging April 8

USACE/Seattle District
Published March 25, 2024

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hopper dredge vessels Yaquina and Essayons will begin Gray's Harbor outer harbor maintenance dredging April 8.

The Yaquina will dredge about 15 days, while the Essayons will dredge about 25 days. All work will conclude no later than May 30, 2024.

The dredge will work 24/7, in the Bar, Entrance, Pt. Chehalis, and South reaches. The goal is to dredge about one million cubic yards, with 600,000 cubic yards placed in the South Beach Beneficial Use Site (SBBUS).  They will place the remaining material in either the Half Moon Bay Beneficial Use Site or the Pt. Chehalis Disposal Sites.

There are usually significant crab pots left in the SBBUS and access lanes. USACE asks fishermen and crabbers to move their boats, pots and gear to avoid damage. All dredge work areas including the navigation channel, access lane, and target placement sites, need to be kept clear of fishing and crabbing activity and gear during the dredging.

Please note: Hoppers will use all navigation channels, placement/disposal target areas and access lanes.

Fishermen, crabbers, and recreational boaters should position themselves, their pots and gear at least 300 feet from the navigation channel, placement and disposal areas or access lane boundaries, to provide a buffer zone to allow for the boats and gear drifting into the hopper activity areas. Boats and gear that drift into the navigation channel, access channel or target placement and disposal areas may be damaged or destroyed.


One of the Seattle District’s primary missions is to maintain the navigation channels and harbors in the Pacific Northwest. Maintenance and navigation dredging are performed frequently in harbor areas, ports, and marinas. A significant component of Washington State’s economy relies on navigation and commerce, which requires dredging harbors such as Grays Harbor, whose deep draft channel is 350 feet wide, increasing to 1,000 feet over the bar.

Nicole L. Celestine

Release no. 24-005