Friday, November 3, 2017

Garibaldi Port Maintenance

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay has deployed its staff to the Port of Garibaldi to dredge its marina and boat launch.

Annual maintenance dredging of navigational channels is conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which performs yearly dredging maintenance to keep shipping channels safe and navigable, but this year’s dredging doesn’t include launch ramps and marinas.

The work poses a financial hardship for smaller ports and has led to “significant amounts of shoaling within marinas along the entire Oregon Coast. The result of this shoaling jeopardizes the ability of commercial and recreational fishing fleets to moor, yielding catastrophic economic impacts,” according to the port.

In 2015, the state of Oregon bought The Laura, an Ellicot-360SL swing ladder suction dredge, to help in that effort and asked the Port of Coos Bay in late 2016 to operate and manage The Laura.

Last year, Port of Coos Bay staff went to the Port of Alsea to finish marina dredging. This year, they headed to the Port of Garibaldi, where vessels are currently sitting on bottom at low tide, preventing them from getting underway when the tide is out, according to the port.

“We are a small but growing port,” said Michael Saindon, Port of Garibaldi Manager. “Keeping the boat basin dredged is critical for the safety of all mariners and can make the difference to our many small business’ ability to be successful. With the help of the Port of Coos Bay and the state-owned dredge, we can keep the port dredged at a reasonable cost and not have to incur debt to keep the port running.”

The Port of Coos Bay staff is expected to return from the Port of Garibaldi on Dec. 21.

“We appreciate the staff’s willingness to spend time away from their homes and families for this project in order to ensure the strength and future of our sister ports,” said John Buckley, Charleston Marina Harbormaster.