Port of Siuslaw officials recently learned the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has removed two mitigation requirements of the wharf improvement project, which were expected to add another $175,000 to $200,000 to the overall cost. The project already incurred extra expenses because of a delay in the permit to begin work, originally scheduled to start Nov. 1, but held over until mid-December.
No longer required is application of non-toxic reflective paint on the underside of the 22,000-square-foot wharf and the addition of a 600-square-foot hole, to be covered by a metal grate, to allow light under the structure. The reason for mitigation is the possible effect on fish habitat with the addition of 195 square feet to the footprint of the 1960s-era structure.
In early January, port staff and workers from Camp Florence removed more than 11 tons of debris in the intertidal area east of ICM restaurant to satisfy another portion of the mitigation plan.
Mitigation is still required, said Siuslaw Port Manager Robert Forsythe, but will be in a different form. Details are not final, but Forsythe anticipates minimal cost to the port, and said the mitigation might fall into plans the port already has to convert H dock to a public crabbing and fishing dock, using materials the port already has.
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