The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hopper dredge Essayons just finished vital maintenance dredging of the federal navigation channels in Honolulu, Barbers Point, Kahului, Hilo, and Nawiliwili commercial harbors.
The last time the federal navigation channels in these harbors were dredged was in 1999.
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 in Hawaii, the Essayons dredged approximately 300,000 cubic yards from the harbors and safely disposed of it at EPA-designated ocean disposal sites.
Home ported at the Corps’ Portland (Oregon) District, the Corps designed Essayons was built by the Bath Iron Works of Maine in 1982.
Operated by a merchant marine crew, the Essayons was delivered to the Portland District in 1983. The Essayons helps maintain entrance bars, rivers, and harbors on the coasts of California, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska and, in emergencies, the Mississippi River. Because of its size and dredging depth, the Essayons is particularly well-suited for dredging the larger coastal entrances.