Dredger Yaquina busy at Port of Kalama

USACE Portland District has just released this amazing photo of their dredger Yaquina, taken during her recent work near Port of Kalama.

USACE photo

The Yaquina is one of two Portland District’s hopper dredges.

The hopper dredge is a specialized sea-going vessel, ready to dredge and transport material from ocean bars, fast flowing rivers and harbors to open-water disposal areas. 

USACE photo

Furthermore, dredging the Columbia River “highway” ensures safe passage for ships and other vessels, said USACE.

The dredging is part of the Corps’ annual river maintenance, aiming to keep the federal navigation channel safe for commercial shipping. 

According to the Center for Economic Development and Research, the Columbia/Snake River navigation system is the top export gateway for U.S. wheat and barley exports.

Also, it is the number one export gateway for West Coast wood and mineral bulk exports, as well as for automobile imports.

Marine traffic passing the entrance of the Columbia River has increased by 34 percent from 32 million tons in 2003 to 42 million tons in recent years.