USA: Snohomish River Dredging Begins
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin maintenance dredging of the Snohomish River upstream and downstream settling basins today.
Hydraulic dredging will begin in the upstream settling basin where 100,000 cubic yards of material will be removed and placed on City of Everett’s property. This material is available for beneficial use by the city. Downstream dredged material will beneficially nourish two areas on Jetty Island. About 65,000 cubic yards will be dispersed in a southern island placement area and 14,000 cubic yards added to the north in a beach nourishment area which protects the environmental integrity of a salt marsh cove.
Whenever possible, dredged material is beneficially used to restore, protect or create aquatic and wetland habitats. The Corps’ Seattle District Dredged Materials Management Office implements the interagency Dredged Material Management Program in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Washington state departments of Ecology and Natural Resources. These four agencies collaboratively work to manage and regulate disposal of dredged material from dredging projects in Washington state.
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 implementation of timing restrictions designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Portable Hydraulic Dredging, Inc, from Eagle Creek, Ore., will perform the dredging for nearly $1.5 million and is expected to be done by mid-February. The Corps began maintenance dredging of the Snohomish River Project in 1910. The project, consisting of deep and shallow-draft navigation channels and two settling basins, serves the Port of Everett.
Boaters in the area should slow down, pay attention to rig markings and be cautious around the operations.
“Slow down around working equipment,” Portable Hydraulic Dredging owner Art Kilander advised. “If we are lifting an anchor and the boat is pulled down hard, you can even flip our big boats with your wake. Around working craft, you are responsible for your wake.”
Clamshell dredging of the channel is expected to begin mid-November.
Press Release, October 15, 2012