Murray Announces that Dredging Efforts are to Begin at Port of Chinook

Aug 25 2003

Dredging will help keep port competitive, protect jobs

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced that dredging will soon begin at the Port of Chinook.

Murray, who secured $500,000 in the 2004 Senate Energy and Water Bill to support dredging at the Port, worked to convince the Army Corps of Engineers to reprogram funds from their national headquarters to help begin the dredging sooner.

Murray argued that moving the Dredge Sea Vulture, which has just completed work at the nearby Port of Ilwaco, to the Port of Chinook will help reduce future mobilization costs, allowing more of the funds to be spent on dredging.

“By taking advantage of the location of the nearby dredge, the Port and the Army Corps of Engineers will save on mobilization costs and the channel can remain open during the winter crabbing and fishing season,” Senator Murray said. “Ensuring that our ports remain open and competitive is vital to ensuring growth and creating jobs for Chinook and Pacific Counties.”

The Port of Chinook is located near the mouth of the Columbia River. Due to the build up of silt in the bay, fishermen can only access the bay and its fish and crab processing plant during extremely high tides. By dredging the area in question, fishermen will have safe, reliable access to the channel and the processing plants.

Chinook’s crabbing industry employs 40 year round employees and 100 seasonal employees, it is the Port’s largest employer and the second largest crab processor in Washington state.