After a long and often frustrating permitting process, Wahkiakum County has received the final, authorized permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the 10 Year Sand Placement Program at Puget Island and Cape Horn.
On Wednesday, May 15, Public Works Director, Charles Beyer, signed and received the final, completed permitting package with USACE to allow for the placement of dredged sand upon these specific sites.
The purpose of the sand placement program is to protect eroding shorelines through beach nourishment. Most of the shorelines have not been stabilized with dredged sand in over a decade, and this marks the end of the planning and permitting process that has been several years in the making, said the county.
“The permitting process was officially started with USACE in 2016, though discussions on the need for bank stabilization and how to fund the project began several years prior to that. The permitting is now in place, however, that alone is not a guarantee of sand placement on the eroding shorelines,” according to their official announcement.
The actual placement of sand is still dependent upon the need for maintenance dredging of the federal navigation channel of the Columbia River in the nearby vicinity, as USACE will only place sand when it is both available and cost effective for them to do so.
USACE is still in the process of surveying the channel and developing a plan for the upcoming dredging season. The Wahkiakum Board Of County Commissioners said that they are optimistic that several of the sites may obtain sand during this summer’s dredging season.