The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Seattle District plans to begin maintenance dredging work on the Swinomish River during the next week, probably October 17, with an anticipated completion date of November 30.
Under this cleanup project, J.E. McAmis, Inc. of Chico, California will be removing approximately 154,000 cubic yards of material in multiple work-areas.
“The channel will remain open. Because of the size of the dredge, normal channel widths will be reduced. Mariners are requested to exercise caution. Boaters should pass on the side of the dredge with two green lights (and/or two diamonds in a line) or radio for instructions,” USACE said.
Congress originally authorized the construction of a channel from Skagit to Fidalgo Bay in 1892. Over the last 126 years, the Corps has periodically dredged the channel to maintain authorized depth of minus 12-feet mean lower low water.
One of the Seattle District’s primary missions is to maintain the navigation channels and harbors in the Pacific Northwest. Maintenance and navigation dredging is done frequently in harbor areas, ports and marinas.
According to USACE, a significant component of Washington’s economy depends on navigation and commerce, which in turn depends on dredging the state’s waterways, such as the Swinomish Channel.