The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will start dredging operations in the lower Columbia River in July.
The dredging is part of the Corps’ annual river maintenance intended to keep the federal navigation channel safe for commercial shipping. The Corps expects to remove 5 million cubic yards of sediment from the Columbia River and more than 3 million cubic yards from the mouth of the river this season.
Dredging at the mouth of the Columbia River is expected to be complete by October, and the rest of the river by December.
According to the Center for Economic Development and Research, the Columbia/Snake River navigation system is the top export gateway for U.S. wheat and barley exports. It is also the number one export gateway for West Coast wood and mineral bulk exports, as well as for automobile imports.
Marine traffic passing the entrance of the Columbia River has increased by 34 percent from 32 million tons in 2003 to 42 million tons in 2010.
Press Release, June 26, 2014