Annual Dredging of Columbia Bar
by Hope Anderson
The annual dredging of the navigation channel at the mouth of the Columbia River will begin shortly after midnight on Wednesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced.
The Corps dredges the channel every year to provide safe transit across the Columbia River bar for large and small vessels.
Great Lakes Dredge and Dock will deposit the materials in the Expanded Site E near Buoy 7. Fisherman are advised that crab pots should be removed from that area and the transit lanes during the dredge operations, the Corps said.
The public will be notified of any additional disposal sites, according to the Corps.
The annual dredging comes at a time when the Corps' large-scale project to deepen the channel is under fire.
The Corps is in the midst of a legal battle over its proposed $134 million project to deepen the channel from 40 to 43 feet deep to accommodate newer, deeper draft ships. Opponents of the project say the economic justification and studies of the environmental impacts of the project are flawed.
For more information about the Columbia River dredging project for the mouth, visit the Corps' Web site at www.nwp.usace.army.mil/op/n/projects/mcr/home.asp.
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