The Port of Oakland is nearly a third of the way through its annual maintenance dredging program for 2015.
By November, the port plans to scoop 185,000 cubic yards of sediment from 17 deep-water shipping berths. The goal of the $3.7 million project: maintain 50-foot depths so container ships aren’t stuck in the mud.
“This is one of the least glamorous, but most important jobs a port authority has every year,” said Chris Chan, the Port’s Director of Engineering. “Few ports nationwide have the deep-water capability to berth the biggest container vessels, so we need to continually protect that advantage.”
Vessels capable of carrying up to 14,000 20-foot containers berth at Oakland. These are the largest ships calling U.S. ports. Berths and approach channels must be 50-feet-deep to accommodate them.
According to the latest release, the port completed dredging of 45,000 cubic yards of material from six berths since dredging began in August. It will clear another 140,000 yards of material from 11 additional berths.
Dredging season is restricted to this time period to protect endangered fish and fowl. Sediment dredged from Oakland berths is being deposited at the Montezuma Wetlands on Suisun Bay. The 2,400-acre marsh is being restored as a shorebird habitat.