The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released its Fiscal Year 2014 work plans for the Army Civil Works program. The Operation and Maintenance Plan includes nearly $15 million for maintenance dredging of the federal navigation channels used by Oregon’s small coastal ports.
The plan also includes $1.2 million to dredge the Skipanon Channel, Ore., and $1.8 million to dredge the Chinook channel and Baker Bay, Wash.
“This is welcome news for the Portland District,” said Lt. Col. Glenn O. Pratt, Portland District Commander. “The FY14 maintenance dredging work plan allows us to accomplish the Corps’ critical life and safety dredging mission to maintain Oregon’s coastal navigation channels.”
The Portland District has worked with small ports along the Oregon coast for decades, dredging navigation channels, clearing the way for commercial fishermen and recreational mariners traveling between their harbors and the Pacific Ocean. The constrained budget environment over the past several years left many Corps navigation projects, including Oregon’s coastal ports, without federal funding.
On Sept. 17, 2013, Pratt, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and Oregon Sen. Jeff Kruse signed a Declaration of Cooperation, publicly committing to work together to maintain safe, reliable navigation channels along Oregon’s coast. The Corps will continue to work with the state to utilize both federal and state funds as appropriate to accomplish the maintenance dredging required to support coastal communities.
The Portland District will continue to seek appropriated funds to maintain Oregon’s low commercial use harbors.
Press Release, April 1, 2014