Aberdeen to host Meeting on Grays Harbor dredging
A public meeting from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will present a report of their dredging in Grays Harbor at a meeting this month in Aberdeen.
The meeting will focus on the Corps’ reevaluation report and draft supplemental environmental impact statement following their dredging of the channel -38 feet. Army Corps officials will begin the meeting with an open house followed by a presentation and an opportunity to comment on the report.
The Grays Harbor channel is 250 feet wide at Cosmopolis, increasing to 1,000 feet over the bar at the mouth of Grays Harbor. The currently maintained depth is -36 feet from the South Reach to Port of Grays Harbor Terminal 4. The channel then decreases to -32 feet through Cosmopolis.
The Corps is looking into the feasibility of dredging the channel to its fully legislatively authorized depth of -38 feet. This project covers approximately 14.5 miles of the 27.5 mile channel. Deepening of the channel to -38 feet was authorized by Congress in 1986, but a 1989 economic evaluation found that dredging only to -36 feet was economically justified at that time.
The potential two-foot deepening is not intended to facilitate access for any ships to enter the Harbor that could not currently utilize Port facilities.
The Corps maintains the waterway now by dredging the deep draft channel annually at an average cost of $9 million, removing an average annual volume of about 1.7 million cubic yards of material.
The draft reevaluation report, draft supplemental EIS and appendices are available to review on line at: http://1.usa.gov/MS6jUw or through Seattle District’s main website: http://www.nws.usace.army.ml by clicking on “Grays Harbor Navigation” under the “Most Requested” column.
The Corps is accepting public comment on the report and EIS until March 24. Comments will be accepted at the meeting via comment card or other written format and orally. Comments can also be sent via email to: GraysHarborComments@usace.army.mil or through the mail to Josh Jackson, CENWS-PM-CP, PO Box 3755, Seattle, WA 98124-3755.
The meeting will be held Feb. 27 starting at 6:30 pm at the Rotary Log Pavilion in Aberdeen.