Corps of Engineers to start Grays Harbor maintenance dredging March 28

Published March 17, 2014

Grays Harbor annual maintenance dredging will begin March 28 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hopper dredge Yaquina arrives.

Working around-the-clock through April 16, the Corps hopper dredge Yaquina will dredge the Grays Harbor Entrance, Point Chehalis and South Reach channels. The Yaquina will place dredged materials at the Washington State Department of Natural Resources-managed Point Chehalis and South Jetty open water disposal sites and at the Half Moon Bay nourishment site.

A second Corps hopper dredge, the Essayons, is scheduled to arrive April 5 and work through May 5 to dredge the Grays Harbor Bar and Entrance, as well as the Point Chehalis reaches. The Essayons will deposit dredged materials at the South Beach and Point Chehalis disposal sites.

The Corps vessels are expected to dredge approximately one million cubic yards of material from the Grays Harbor Bar and Entrance, Point Chehalis and South reaches.

The Seattle District of the Corps works with state and federal agencies and Native American Nations to minimize harm to the aquatic ecosystem. A Biological Evaluation was prepared in accordance with the Endangered Species Act and Environmental Assessment and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Corps officials assure full compliance with the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act before starting. Potential dredging and disposal operations impacts are also avoided through implementation of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-designated timing restrictions. In addition, local crab fishermen assist by temporarily relocating during operations.

Dredges Yaquina and Essayons are assigned to the Portland District and annually support Seattle District Grays Harbor operations.

Steve Cosgrove

Release no. 14-011