The U.S. Coast Guard began temporarily moving aids to navigation in Hilo Harbor, Hawaii, Sunday, to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with planned dredging operations.
As previously released, the Corps hopper dredge Essayons will conduct maintenance dredging in March and April starting in Nawiliwili last week, and then at Kalaeloa (Barbers Point), Hilo, Kahului, and Honolulu harbors.
Hawaii is a maritime state over 2,400 miles from the mainland and far more dependent on its harbors than most of the United States.
The Hawaii state DOT claims that over 80 percent of all consumer goods – food, clothing, autos, building supplies, machinery, paper, and allied products, medical supplies, and agricultural materials – are imported into the state. Of that 80 percent, approximately 98 percent enters Hawaii though commercial harbors on the major islands.
To ensure that these vital goods continue to arrive safely in Hawaii, the Essayons crew will dredge approximately 290,000 cubic yards from the five key harbors.
“Mariners entering or departing Hilo Harbor during this time period are encouraged to contact the Essayons to determine the location of dredging operations and coordinate passing arrangements,” the USCG said in its notice.
The dredge-material will be safely disposed of at EPA-designated ocean disposal sites.